Lonnie Walker IV got his first start in the NBA, and the Spurs were able to keep pace with the best team in the league for much of the game, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks took care of business in the second half as they put away the Silver and Black by playing stifling defense, sinking three point shots and hitting free throws. It was a good effort by the Silver and Black, but not good enough to get a win against the best team in the NBA this year. LaMarcus Aldridge had an excellent first quarter, but the Spurs couldn’t maintain the intensity, as the Bucks put away the game in the second half.
- It’s happening! Lonnie Walker IV is in the starting lineup tonight. He didn’t have a great outing, but the experience was invaluable.
- Giannis is really long. I think of Lonnie as one of the bigger guards on the Spurs, but he looked really small next to Antetokounmpo.
- I always have trouble telling Robin Lopez and Brook Lopez apart. Now that they’re on the same team, it’s hopeless. I can never remember which one has the Sideshow Bob haircut.
- One bad thing about moving your best bench players from the bench to the starting unit is that the bench isn’t as good. You could see that at the end of the first when a lineup with Bryn Forbes and Marco Belinelli lost almost all of San Antonio’s early big lead.
- You can tell that Giannis is a superstar now. He can just barrel into the lane, and when he bowls over someone, it’s always a blocking foul, regardless of whether or not the defender’s feet were set.
- After Aldridge hit 4-5 threes in the first quarter, they didn’t go back to it in the second. I’m not sure what motivated that.
- Supposedly, Giannis is supposed to be a bad free throw shooter. When he hit 10 straight in the third quarter, he pretty much proved that’s not always true.
LaMarcus won the opening tip, and Derrick White got into the lane to score the first two points of the game. With Aldridge and Antetokounmpo trading three-point shots, the score was close early. Then LaMarcus caught fire from outside, hitting 4-4 three-point shots in the quarter, and the Spurs went on a 10-0 run, eventually leading by 12, but the Bucks bench brought them almost all the way back, with the Spurs leading 31-29 after a quarter.
The Bucks took the lead as the second quarter started on an Eric Bledsoe triple, but the Spurs rectified the situation with a quick 9-0 run of their own. Hot shooting from the Bucks erased the Spurs lead, with a couple of four point plays helping them to extend the lead to 9. DeMar DeRozan used his midrange game to keep the Silver and Black in it, and the Bucks led 71-66 at the half.
The Spurs got into the bonus early in the third quarter, and it paid off as they tied up the game with 7 minutes left in the quarter. The Bucks fought back and got their first double digit lead of the night mostly on the strength of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s atypical flawless free throw shooting. The Bucks led 103-91 after three after Ilyasova’s three point buzzer beater at the end of the quarter.
The Bucks went on a run as the fourth quarter began, and the Spurs couldn’t match their intensity as Milwaukee increased the lead. Late in the game, Chimezie Metu and Keldon Johnson got into the game and played pretty well, with Keldon scrapping for a jump ball with a few seconds left in the game. It wasn’t enough, as the Bucks won easily.
This was suggested by Matt Bonner in the pre-game show.
For the Bucks fans’ perspective, visit Brew Hoop. After tonight’s game, the Spurs and Bucks are headed back to San Antonio for a rematch Monday at 7:30 PM CT.