Spurs-Bucks Preview

While the San Antonio Spurs have mostly had their way against

Eastern Conference opponents, the Milwaukee Bucks are still seeking

their first win against the West.

The Spurs are hoping to see those trends continue Wednesday

night as they go for a seventh win in eight games against the

Bucks.

After falling 111-100 to NBA-leading Indiana on Saturday, San

Antonio (16-4) opened a two-game trip with Tuesday’s 116-103 win at

Toronto. The Spurs shot 54.9 percent and recorded a season

best-tying 30 assists in improving to 8-1 against the East.

“We had a lot of guys contribute with 30 assists and that’s

always fantastic when you get the ball moving,” coach Gregg

Popovich told the league’s official website. “The point where you

get 30 assists, you know people are playing the right way.”

Manu Ginobili was one of seven players to score in double

figures, posting team highs of 16 points and nine assists off the

bench. San Antonio is 10-1 when he dishes out at least five

assists.

“Manu looks healthy, he looks like he has fresh legs,” Popovich

said. “He is looking good so far and as long as he is healthy it is

great for us.”

The Spurs also got a boost from second-year center Aron Baynes,

who scored a career-high 14 on 7-of-9 shooting while helping fill

in for the injured Tiago Splitter (calf).

“Tiago is a big part of what we do so somebody has to step up.

Right now, Baynesie is doing good,” point guard Tony Parker said.

“We see him in practice all the time so we know we have somebody

who can play. He played international basketball, he’s been to an

Olympics. He’s got some experience.”

Ginobili is averaging 17.8 points and 5.6 assists in his last

five meetings against Milwaukee, all San Antonio wins. The Spurs,

who averaged 113.5 points in sweeping last season’s two-game

series, have taken six of seven from the Bucks.

San Antonio has posted an NBA-leading 81.6 winning percentage

against the East since the start of 2010-11, going 71-16.

Milwaukee, last in the league with 90.2 points per game, has

averaged just 81.3 in going 0-3 against the West this season.

The Bucks (5-16), though, have won two of three overall after a

78-74 victory at Chicago on Tuesday. John Henson had a season-high

25 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks as the Bucks held the Bulls

to 37.3 percent shooting.

“We just kept fighting,” Henson said. “Man, we just kept

fighting. As a young team, a scrappy team out here, that’s what we

got to do.”

Brandon Knight also came up big with 19 points and a career

high-tying 10 boards.

Gary Neal, who spent the first three seasons of his career with

San Antonio before signing with Milwaukee this summer, is uncertain

to face his former team after missing Tuesday’s game with plantar

fasciitis in his left foot. Milwaukee is also dealing with injuries

to Caron Butler (sore left knee) and Zaza Pachulia (fractured right

foot).

The Bucks have dropped seven of eight at home, and the Spurs

have won seven of eight on the road by an average of 14.1

points.

Tim Duncan is averaging 23.1 points in 15 games at Milwaukee,

tied for his highest career road mark against any team. He scored

28 to go along with 13 rebounds as San Antonio won 117-110 in its

last visit Jan. 2.