San Antonio (6-7) snapped its five game losing streak tonight with a thorough effort and dominance from its starters in its win over ice-cold Milwaukee (10-2). The Bucks were missing their top contributors from the 2021 championship run (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday), but again picked up a boost from point guard Javon Carter (21 points and 6 assists) with center Brook Lopez chipping in 19 points. The visitors shot just 33% for the night, which doomed their chances.
The Spurs had the rare designation as favorites going into the game, and were able to nab a first quarter lead and hold onto it for the bulk of the playing time - doing so convincingly. Keldon Johnson (29 points and 5-8 from three) returned to his great shooting form, while Devin Vassell (22 points and 5 assists) helped him supply close to half of the Spurs’ scoring output this evening. San Antonio also received its usual solid support from Jakob Poeltl (15 points and 10 rebounds) and Tre Jones (9 points and 9 assists).
- 2022-23 City Edition Fiesta jerseys - take all of our money! The warmup jackets might be even more gorgeous. If you didn’t get a chance to grow up in the NBA era of the gaudy 90’s, “you are in for a treat!”
- The PtR Doctor is in! Here’s the latest deep-dive into the team’s history of late 1st round draft picks.
- Reason #10 to fall in love with rookie Jeremy Sochan from Steven Adams himself.
- Antetokounmpo’s brother Thanasis entered the action in the second period and apparently the Bucks’ analysts refer to him as “THANASTY.”
- Sequence of the Game #1: In the first period, Bassey grabbed a teammate’s brick and brought it to a waiting Richardson, set a pick for him, and Richardson converted an and-1.
- Sequence of the Game #2: Though Romeo Langford was stripped by Marjon Beauchamp at midcourt, Langford sufficiently recovered to block Beauchamp’s shot out of bounds.
- Sequence of the Game #3: A “Beautiful Game” sequence broke out partway through the third where Johnson was the beneficiary of several gorgeous passes for a wing three. After a Milwaukee miss, Poeltl then followed up his own miss with a traditional and-1.
- Devin’s Deeds: Bucks’ analyst Marques Johnson opined “I love him. He’s as athletic as they come” after Vassell knocked down his first shot. Johnson later noted that Vassell patterned “a lot of his game after Penny Hardaway” of Orlando Magic fame.
- Bassey Beastmode: Bassey has a very live motor - on the same possession, he turned away a George Hill reverse late in the first, and then contested the former Spur’s outside shoot moments after.
- Carter resembles a cranky old dude avatar in 2K.
- Keldon’s Kitchen: On a fourth quarter isolation reminiscent of the action Dallas used to run for Dirk Nowitzki at the top of the key, Johnson bodied Carter deep into the paint for a floater.
- Marques Johnson was a quality small forward for these same Bucks throughout the 80s, but may be better known for his villain role in “White Men Can’t Jump.” He claims to have come up with the term “point forward... April 28 1984” in describing former Spur Paul Pressey. He is a treasure trove of historical NBA information.
- The Sochan / Poeltl same-side offensive action needs some serious work.
- Four Bucks turnovers and two Poeltl blocks helped propel the Spurs to an opening 6-0 run. Lopez netted six straight points as 12 of Milwaukee’s first 16 points came from three or by three point play. Johnson’s second foul brought on Josh Richardson earlier than expected and he nailed his first three. Longtime nemesis Serge Ibaka had a personal 5-0 run. A Bassey putback and Richardson free throw (on the Bucks’ second delay of game penalty) helped the Spurs go up 31-27 after the first frame.
- Two Carter threes kept Milwaukee at sniffing distance. Johnson paired three freebies with a pull-up three in transition to give San Antonio its first double-digit margin. Both teams found the scoring nearly impossible in the middle minutes. Yet another Carter three, after a flurry of Bucks’ offensive rebounds, caused Pop to call a timeout in disgust. Five straight Spurs turnovers didn’t help matters, and the forgettable second quarter ended with them up eight via a sizable points in the paint advantage to accomplish it.
- San Antonio’s two-way excellence initiated a 21-8 surge at the beginning of the third, which included two highlight dunks by Sochan, and moved them out to 75-54. Milwaukee mounted its own 15-2 run, spearheaded by Carter’s veteran headiness. A pair of patented Vassell jumper steadied things for the Spurs momentarily and they entered the fourth up only seven.
- Another couple of jumpers by Vassell pushed the Bucks’ deficit back to 12, while Bassey emphatically blocked a desperation heave by Bobby Portis. On one of Sochan’s rare drives right to the basket, he netted two free throws. Johnson paired a manly floater in the paint with a detonation three to nudge the lead back out to 18. The finishing moments were pleasantly drama-free for the victorious Spurs.
For the Bucks fan’s perspective, please visit Brew Hoop.
San Antonio heads west to take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday, November 14 at 9:00 PM CDT.