Spurs 110, Bucks 99
The depth that San Antonio showed off in Miami, even though it
led to a hefty fine and a stern rebuke from the NBA, yielded an
inspired victory for the Spurs.
Tony Parker and Gary Neal each scored 22 points, and San Antonio
had a season-high 53 rebounds in a 110-99 victory over the
Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
Tim Duncan added 17 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio
(15-4). Tiago Splitter had 15 points, Manu Ginobili scored 11 and
Matt Bonner had a season-high 12 rebounds.
Even with Neal starting in place of an injured Danny Green, San
Antonio’s bench had 40 points, 25 rebounds and 13 rebounds, and
fueled a decisive 36-13 run bridging the final two quarters against
”It was our best group all night, on the court,” Spurs coach
Gregg Popovich said. ”They were really active defensively. They
all rebounded. Matty Bonner was awesome on the board and on the
other end, the ball moved. Nobody held it, so that group did a good
job at both ends and got the win for us.”
The bench’s contributions came hours after NBA Commissioner
David Stern reaffirmed that his decision to fine San Antonio
$250,000 was ”appropriate.”
Stern said Popovich’s choice to send Parker, Duncan, Ginobili
and Green home rather than play a nationally televised game
Thursday in Miami was ”not about a coaching decision. This is more
about the relationship among our 30 teams and 30 owners.”
The Spurs believe Popovich’s move was smart coaching.
”They’re talented,” Parker said. ”They showed it in Miami and
tonight they showed it again. Pop is always trying to do stuff to
make sure our bench is performing and tonight it definitely
San Antonio’s starting unit struggled against Milwaukee,
trailing 70-64 with 5:21 left in the third quarter following a
16-foot jumper by Samuel Dalembert.
That’s when Popovich turned to the group that Miami needed a
late rally to overcome.
San Antonio closed the third on a 12-6 spurt, fueled by
3-pointers by Bonner, Ginobili and Nando De Colo. A defensive
goaltending call against Larry Sanders on a layup by De Colo gave
the Spurs a 78-76 lead, their first since late in the first
”They brought in their second unit and De Colo really got them
going with his passing,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. ”They
just went on a run and we couldn’t get back into the game.”
Monta Ellis had 21 points and 11 assists for Milwaukee. Brandon
Jennings added 14 points and Ersan Ilyasova scored all of his 17
points in the first half.
San Antonio outrebounded Milwaukee 53-36, including a 28-17
advantage in the second half.
The Spurs opened the game by missing their first 11 attempts
before Parker banked in a runner with eight minutes left in the
opening quarter. The Spurs offset that poor shooting with 11
Ilyasova scored eight straight points for the Bucks in a
two-minute span late in the first quarter, besting his season
average of 6.9.
”In the first half, we were sharing the ball more,” Ilyasova
said, ”getting open looks and knocking them down. In the second
half, they played better defense.”
Every active Spurs player with the exception of James Anderson
scored for San Antonio, which needed the balanced scoring with
Green, Stephen Jackson, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills all sitting
out with injuries.
Notes: San Antonio recalled G Cory Joseph and G De Colo after
assigning both to the team’s NBDL team in Austin to get some
playing time. De Colo was assigned to the Toros on Sunday, scored
14 points in 39 minutes that night and was recalled Monday. . San
Antonio hosts Houston on Friday before opening a four-game road
trip Saturday in Charlotte. The Spurs have three road trips of at
least four games in the first 45 days of their season. Their nine
road wins are the most by any team in the NBA this season. Oklahoma
City is second with six.