Notebook: Spurs 110, Bucks 99



Posted Dec 6, 2012 12:08 AM

By Tim Price, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Tony Parker and Gary Neal each scored 22 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 110-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at AT&T Center.

It was the seventh win in the last eight games for the Spurs (15-4), who also got 17 points and 10 rebounds from Tim Duncan and a 12-rebound performance off the bench from Matt Bonner.

The Bucks got 21 points from Monta Ellis and 17 points off the bench from Ersan Ilyasova. Milwaukee (8-9) dropped below .500 for the first time this season. The Bucks have lost seven of their last nine.

QUOTABLE: "We were playing really slow the first three quarters of the game, and the second group in the [fourth quarter] pushed the ball up and down, drove, kicked it and got good shots. We've said it all along -- we think everybody on the roster can step up any night and contribute and help us win ball games, and that's what we're doing right now. We have to grind it out, play a 48-minute game, insert cliché here, and that's how we do it.."

-- Matt Bonner

THE STAT: The Spurs starting backcourt of Parker and Neal outscored the Bucks' starters of Ellis and Brandon Jennings, 44-35. But the more telling mark came in shooting the ball. The Parker-Neal combo went 13-for-27 (48 percent) compared to Ellis-Jennings at 10-for-34 (29 percent).

The Spurs also outrebounded Milwaukee 53-36.

TURNING POINT: It was a tie game heading into the fourth quarter, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent out a lineup of Neal along with reserves Bonner, James Anderson, Nando De Colo and Tiago Splitter against a Bucks lineup that included Ellis, Jennings and Ilyasova. The Spurs went on a 17-3 run with those five players and led 93-79 with seven minutes to go.

QUOTABLE II: "They brought in their second unit and De Colo really got them going with his passing. They just went on a run and we couldn't get back in the game."

-- Bucks coach Scott Skiles

HOT: Splitter finished the night 7-for-9 from the floor. He was 5-for-5 in the fourth when the Spurs outscored Milwaukee 34-23. Splitter is 23-for-37 (63 percent) during the past five games.

NOT: Ellis had his first double-double of the season (11 assists along with the 21 points), although he shot 5-for-19 from the floor; he was 10-for-11 from the foul line. Ellis hasn't shot 50 percent from the floor in five games, and is 24-for-73 (33 percent) during that stretch.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Parker turned the ball over seven times, but he had 10 assists to go along with his 22 points. He matched Ellis with a 10-for-11 night from the foul line.

GOOD MOVE: The Spurs reserves have been hot lately, almost winning a game at Miami and sparking a comeback Saturday against Memphis. So, the Spurs rolled with them. In fact, De Colo and Splitter played the entire fourth quarter while Duncan sat the entire time.

BAD MOVE: Skiles was able to pair Ilyasova and Samuel Dalembert effectively in the first half, and the pair went a combined 10-for-13. Ilyasova was especially productive, going 7-for-10 for 17 points in 15 ½ minutes. But that got away from the Bucks after halftime. Ilyasova didn't even play three minutes in the third quarter, and the pair went 1-for-5 in the second half.

ROOKIE WATCH: De Colo played 17 minutes and went 3-for-4 with a 3-pointer, had two assists with no turnovers and seven points.

NOTABLE: Bonner's 12-rebound night was his best since a career-high 17 in December 2007. ... The Spurs started the game by missing their first 11 shots, but had a lead 5:49 into the first quarter. ... The Spurs picked up two more injuries this week with starting swingman Danny Green (left hamstring tightness) and Patty Mills (right ankle sprain). The Spurs already were without starting small forward Kawhi Leonard (left quadriceps tendonitis) and Stephen Jackson (right little finger fracture). ... Mike Dunleavy went back on the Bucks injured list with a left knee bruise, missing tonight's game. He had missed a game last week with the injury yet played 20 minutes in the last game at New Orleans before the soreness returned.

UP NEXT: For the Bucks, Friday vs. Charlotte, Sunday @ Brooklyn, Wednesday vs. Sacramento. For the Spurs, Friday vs. Houston, Saturday @ Charlotte, Monday @ Houston.