AT&T Center is a tough place to win, but the Milwaukee Bucks topped the San Antonio Spurs 121-111 for their first victory in San Antonio since November 2017. Khris Middleton led all scorers with 28 and George Hill had 15 off the bench for the Bucks, who also welcomed back Jrue Holiday to the lineup.
Milwaukee played from behind almost the entire first quarter as Giannis picked up two early fouls but tied things up by its conclusion. Doug McDermott started afire (3/4 from deep) with 11 points but was scoreless in the second as the Bucks made their move, using a 13-4 run to close the half up 56-52.
Giannis picked up his fourth foul early in the third and hit the bench, after which the Spurs made a 16-2 run to regain the lead at the 5:03 mark, thanks to a three from old friend Bryn Forbes. The Greek Freak (21 on 7/15 shooting, 6/8 at the line) would return and with help from George Hill and Jordan Nwora, Milwaukee snatched the lead back 85-81 heading into the fourth.
McDermott (25 points) caught fire again to tie it up early in the final period, but some big treys from Holiday and Middleton put Milwaukee in front, a lead which grew to 10 with 8:30 to go. San Antonio did cut it to four with 4:24 remaining until Pat Connaughton (16 points) continued his terrific start to the year, hitting two huge triples and growing the lead back to double digits just over a minute later. From there, the Bucks cruised to a 10-point victory.
Stat That Stood Out
9-0: still lacking Brook Lopez (back) and Bobby Portis (hamstring), the Bucks again started Giannis at the 5. With Giannis in foul trouble, Mike Budenholzer turned to an uber-small lineup of Thanasis/Middleton/Connaughton/Allen/Holiday, using Middleton and Thanasis as his bigs again like we saw for several minutes in Miami. The lack of size didn’t prevent them from a 9-0 run to seize Milwaukee’s first lead of the night early in the second. Bud went to that lineup again early in the third but they were outscored by 4.