San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs vs. Bucks recap, reactions: Momentum stalls on the road

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MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 25: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over John Henson #31 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of a game at the Bradley Center on March 25, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 25: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over John Henson #31 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of a game at the Bradley Center on March 25, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The San Antonio Spurs went head-to-head with the Milwaukee Bucks in an unusual matinee matchup.

At this point of the season, every game is a must-win for the San Antonio Spurs. This started weeks ago when the team went on a poor run. However, with six consecutive wins, the Spurs entered Sunday’s matchup vs. the Milwaukee Bucks as arguably the NBA’s hottest team. Wins came against the New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards and other potential playoff teams — not just lower-level squads. Would the same happen against the Eastern Conference’s Bucks?

The Spurs fell behind early, with a struggle to shoot from the field and an early scoring barrage from Milwaukee. That led to a 27-15 first quarter, in favor of the home team. However, the Silver and Black made the second quarter their’s, scoring 32 against 20, including LaMarcus Aldridge taking off for 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting, by the time the first half ended.

LaMarcus with a new team-high #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/BdD64JCCMH

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 25, 2018

Rudy Gay, who told the San Antonio Express-News before Sunday’s game he’s only at 75 percent, picked up a quick 8 points in 10 minutes, as well. He dealt with a heel injury earlier this season and entered the start of the campaign on the back-end of an Achilles rehab.

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“There have been a lot of ups and down this season for me personally and also for our team,” he said. “But making the playoffs will make it worth it. I can sit at home whenever the season is over and feel like we made it to that spot and we gave it our all.”

This led to a 47-47 game at the half. Would San Antonio be able to counter Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 17-point run?

The third quarter turned into another Milwaukee-led period. They blew the Spurs out for 41 points against 28, including outbursts from Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe. This did not put the game out of reach but foreshadowed a shaky end to the game.

There was an opening in the fourth quarter, with the lead narrowed. Active play from Pau Gasol and another strong performance from Aldridge put them in the mix at 91-99, but a 3-pointer from Antetokounmpo basically put the game out of reach, despite a long-range shot from Danny Green that trimmed the Bucks’ lead again. Then came a mid-range basket from Dejounte Murray to inch within five points. Could this comeback happen?

LA ➡️ 30 points #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/o3moWVg9k8

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 25, 2018

Make that 3️⃣ for Danny #TarHeelTriple pic.twitter.com/ZnZF2qPesl

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 25, 2018

A layup from Gasol made it 106-103. However, the Spurs could not capitalize on a last-shot opportunity and lost by this same score.

The high-point man was Aldridge, who followed his 45-point game with 34 points and 7 rebounds on 57.1 percent shooting. Gasol had 22 points and 13 rebounds in just 24 minutes, delivering one of his most efficient performances of the season. Gay, Green and Murray each followed with double-digit points.

Despite a 33.3 mark from 3-point range, the Bucks still shot 48 percent from the field. Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe, Middleton and John Henson all shot above 50 percent and above 10 points each to get their 39th win of the season.

For the Spurs, their pursuit of 50 wins nears its end. It’s still possible, as eight games remain on the schedule. However, seven of them must be wins. That seems unlikely, barring another six-game stretch.

The loss also muddies the Western Conference’s playoff picture. The Spurs and Pelicans own the same record (43-31) and sit just a few games ahead of the No. 9 Denver Nuggets. Each matchup remains a must-win situation, especially after this loss, to stay away from the Nuggets and secure a postseason seed.

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

The next game takes place Tuesday, Mar. 27 at the Washington Wizards. Game time is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

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