Notebook: Spurs 117, Bucks 110



Posted Jan 2, 2013 11:46 PM

By Rick Braun, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Tim Duncan scored 28 points and added 13 rebounds, and Tony Parker added 23 points and 11 assists as the San Antonio Spurs won their seventh straight game with a 117-110 decision over the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The Spurs (26-8) led by as many as 23 in the third quarter and were never really in jeopardy, although the Bucks pulled within 115-110 in the final half-minute.

Brandon Jennings had 31 points and five assists for the Bucks (16-14), who have lost their last two.

QUOTABLE: "It's easy when we're playing like that. We make it look easy and it feels easy. But it isn't. It's execution and a dedication to moving the ball and staying on a string. A lot of hard work went into it."

-- Tim Duncan

THE STATS: The two teams were actually close in shooting percentage, and the Bucks won on the boards, 47-40. The difference in this game was the ball-handling numbers, where the Spurs won the assist game 32-24, and committed just eight turnovers to Milwaukee's 16.

TURNING POINT: Milwaukee cut a 23-point, third-quarter lead down to 94-83 in the first minute of the fourth when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent Duncan, Parker and Danny Green back in with 10:23 left. After a Jennings jumper closed it to single digits at 94-85, Parker fed Green for an open 3-pointer, Duncan fed Tiago Splitter for a lay-in and Parker drilled a 3-pointer and a 15-footer for a 10-0 run that pushed the lead to 104-85. The Spurs cruised the rest of the way.

QUOTABLE II: "We were lucky enough. We made the stops we needed and the shots we needed right away. That was very important because, against them, they keep playing and playing hard and they've come back on a lot of teams. But they didn't do it to us."

-- Tony Parker on how he and Duncan helped the Spurs put an immediate end to Milwaukee's rally

HOT: Bucks rookie John Henson wasn't taking deep shots but he still made 10 of his 11 attempts (90.9 percent) for a career-high 20 points. According to Stats LLC, that's the highest percentage in a game for a Bucks rookie (minimum 10 FGM) since at least 1986 when such statistics began to be kept. Yi Jianlian went 14-for-17 (82.4 percent) against Charlotte on Dec. 22, 2007, for the previous record.

NOT: Bucks guard Monta Ellis, the current Eastern Conference Player of the Week, made just 7 of his18 shots.

GOOD MOVE: He clearly would have preferred to keep Duncan and Parker on the bench for the entire fourth quarter, but when Milwaukee made a run, Popovich returned Duncan and Parker to action. "They've played together a long time," Popovich said of Parker and Duncan. "They know what we're looking for. Especially in the fourth quarter."

ROOKIE WATCH: Along with his career-high 20 points, Henson, the Bucks' first-round pick, added nine rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.

NOTABLE: The Spurs have won their seven straight games by an average margin of 18.4 points. ... Duncan finished with three blocks, giving him 20 consecutive games with at least one block. Bucks center Larry Sanders had four blocks, extending his streak of games with a block to 17. ... Bucks guard Beno Udrih missed the game with a sore right ankle. Udrih had missed 12 games with a sprained right ankle before playing in the Bucks' previous three games. He said afterward that he jammed his foot during Sunday's 96-94 loss at Detroit.

UP NEXT: For the Spurs, Thursday @ New York, Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Monday @ New Orleans. For the Bucks, Friday vs. Houston, Saturday @ Indiana, Tuesday vs. Phoenix.