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

Milwaukee (8-9).

”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

performed.”

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

half.

”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

rebounds.

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.