The San Antonio Spurs fell short to the Milwaukee Bucks, 94-87.
The San Antonio Spurs entered Friday night on a three-game winning streak. The young and hugnry Milwaukee Bucks came to town, however, in a battle of two of the NBA’s most talented teams. What would happen in the Alamo City?
If you needed any indication of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s talents, they were on display in the first quarter. He put up 10 quick points in 12 minutes, including a play that had him sloppily dribble the ball, only to regain himself and use those tree-trunk legs to find the basket.
No healthy player can guard Antetokounmpo on the Spurs. Of course, if Kawhi Leonard was healthy, this might be a different story. But throughout this game, it was all about the Greek Freak’s freakish abilities that couldn’t be contained.
Then, there was this. Feast your eyes on a casual reverse-dunk from Antetokounmpo.
Giannis with the steal and 180 dunk. pic.twitter.com/iSbMHGO22b
— RealGM (@RealGM) November 11, 2017
The other Bucks storyline was Eric Bledsoe starting. He was acquired from the Phoenix Suns for Greg Monroe and a protected first-round pick, and immediately paid dividends, displaying an extra scoring touch from behind the arc.
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Meanwhile, LaMarcus Aldridge got off to a fast start. He reached double-digit points for the 12 time in 12 games, as the Bucks big men struggled to guard him and Pau Gasol on the block. The rest of the game was a different story, as John Henson and Thon Maker shut down the five-time All-Star and made him a nonfactor. He finished with a double-double, but with his final 10 of 20 points in the final three quarters.
The Spurs didn’t play the cleanest game of basketball, however. They turned the ball over 11 times in the first half and had three quick ones to start the third quarter. The total grew to 16, with no answer in sight in one of the roughest quarters of the season for the Silver and Black … until Manu Ginobili turned back the clock and had a terrific closing, forcing turnovers, hitting a crucial 3-pointer and throwing it down. Somewhere “If I Can Turn Back Time” is playing.
Manu dunks ? https://t.co/bS5fbf8ugF
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 11, 2017
Late in the game, the Spurs found their greatest success when Antetokounmpo was off the floor. That’s not exactly surprising, but instead of a double-digit deficit, San Antonio made it a close game in the final 12 minutes.
The Spurs got within two points, but after failed late-game opportunities, it became too much to overcome. Poor play in the third quarter set them back, leading to the final score.
- If the Spurs could have mustered another three-to-four baskets from Aldridge, this is a different ball game. He looked outstanding in the first quarter, but that ended his spotlight.
- Rudy Gay, arguably the team’s No. 2 scorer, disappeared, as well.
- What happened to Dejounte Murray? He was left on the bench for most of the game, playing a season-low nine minutes. With Patty Mills’ recovery from a slow start and Tony Parker nearing a return, it’s possible the second-year guard picks up a “DNP” later this month.
- How about Ginobili? This was his best game of the young season, as his presence consistently cut through the young and long Bucks. Didn’t see that one coming, right?
- Leonard’s chances at the MVP award shrink with every game he misses. I’ll happily jump on the Giannis Antetokounmpo bandwagon, however. The Bucks looked elite with him on the court. They’re a different team without him, though, struggling to score and having limited floor-spacing.
The Spurs return to the court on Saturday, Nov. 11, with a game against the Chicago Bulls.