After dropping both games of a home-and-home series against the Indiana Pacers, the Milwaukee Bucks got things back on track against the San Antonio Spurs, winning 125-121. It wasn’t a pretty effort on the defensive end in the game again but with great offensive performances with Giannis and Dame combining for 25 straight points in the fourth quarter, the Bucks were able to squeak it out. In total, Giannis had 44 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Victor Wembyama performed well in his limited minutes, going for 27 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks while his teammate Devin Vasell led the attack with 34 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
After jumping out to a quick 13-5 lead thanks to seven points from Khris Middleton, San Antonio was able to battle it out with Milwaukee for the rest of the first quarter. The young Spurs cut the Bucks’ lead down to two points, 25-27 with 2:53 left. After the 22-12 run the Spurs put on, the Bucks responded by out-scoring San Antonio 11-6 to take a 38-31 lead heading into the second stanza. It was a highlight reel second quarter between Giannis and Wembanyama with the “Greek Freak,” throwing down a spinning dunk in the lane before Wemby would come the other way for a self-alley oop. San Antonio would stay connected throughout the entire second quarter, getting within one point of the Bucks, 58-57 with 2:15 left. Milwaukee would hold the lead going into the locker room, and thanks to a Beasley three-pointer and Middleton mid-range, the Bucks went up 64-59.
The intensity shot up to another level between Giannis and Wemby, with the two European stars putting on a show. Giannis put up 15 points in the quarter, going 7-for-10 from the field and hitting a free throw, while Wemby scored 13 points of his own on 5-for-7 shooting. Keldon Johnson had two big buckets, including a up-and-under layup at the buzzer which tied the game at 93-93, heading into the fourth quarter. The Spurs kept coming after the Bucks, scoring eight of the first 12 points of the fourth, and took a 101-97 lead with 10:36 left. After being held to just 14 points through the first three quarters, Lilard activated Dame Time in the fourth, going for 11 points on 6-for-7 shooting to buoy the offense early in the frame. The Spurs held their lead until the Bucks made their move with 3:41 left after a tip-dunk by Vasell. Giannis went off for nine straight points, including two big three-pointers to give Milwaukee back the lead, 121-118, with 2:26 to go. After a Wemby three tied the game again at 121-121, Giannis would throw down a filthy one-handed jam for his 42nd and 43rd points. After a free throw to make it a three-point game, 124-121, the Spurs had two wide-open corner threes from Jones and Sochan but missed both. A Connaughton free throw and inbound violation from Wemby iced the game for the Bucks, 125-121.
Giannis throws DOWN a slam and Wemby comes RIGHT back with a self alley-oop!— NBA (@NBA) January 5, 2024
Bucks-Spurs on TNT pic.twitter.com/ItrOsbnwEQ
Stat That Stood Out
The Spurs were able to stay in the game because of the continuing issues with the Bucks holding onto the ball. Milwaukee had just 14 turnovers, but San Antonio was able to convert on almost every single one of them, scoring 27 points off those turnovers.