Winning in San Antonio isn’t quite the feat it once was, but it certainly felt like it in this one as the Milwaukee Bucks could never quite solve the Spurs hot shooting evening in falling 104-126. It was tough sledding in San Antonio to start for Milwaukee, with the Bucks trailing 22-27 after one quarter behind sub-40% shooting. Unfortunately, that sled ran directly into a frozen snowbank in the second, with piping hot figures from deep for San Antonio (12-20, 63.2%) sending them to a comfortable 65-52 advantage at half. Finally, Milwaukee made headway in the third cutting into the Spurs’ lead, but a late push by San Antonio put the Bucks in a 10-point hole heading into the fourth. The final period featured plenty of missed opportunities adn poor defensive stands as the Bucks marched to their sixth defeat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo went up against San Antonio’s wall and struggled to convert for much of the night, albeit it mostly from outside. This game felt quite similar to the Sixers loss when they walled off the paint, and Giannis couldn’t soften it up by hitting from the outside. He finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, the latter stat likely hurt by some of his teammates inability to convert from the outside. He was just 10-22 from the field.
Khris Middleton was in a funk the entire game too, missing poorly from deep in the first half to portend a horrific 5-16 shooting performance to finish with 15 points. Eric Bledsoe didn’t flash the same aggressiveness as the first matchup between these two, ending with just eight points and taking only seven shots. George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo helped the Bucks stay in it with 31 points combined.
You guessed it, DeMar DeRozan was slaughtering the Bucks zone-drop scheme, mincing apart Milwaukee from the midrange to the tune of 25 points on only 15 shots. Patty Mills was flaming hot the entire night, ending 6-10 from deep for 21 points and no other stat outside of a single steal. Rudy Gay added 17.
Stat that Stood Out
The Spurs, who are usually reticent to shoot triples but shoot them quite well (37.1% for the season, got their money’s worth in this one by hitting 19-35 from 3-point land, 54.3% overall. That well outstripped Milwaukee’s 34.1% performance, 15-45 overall. For the season, teams are averaging 36% from deep against Milwaukee overall. In just their six losses, Bucks opponents are hitting 43.4% of their threes.