NBA: Bucks use 1-2 punch to overpower Spurs
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and Eric Bledsoe added 21 as the host Milwaukee Bucks continued their record-breaking season with a 127-118 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 4 in the first of back-to-back, home-and-away games between the two teams.
The Bucks and Spurs will also meet on Jan. 6 in San Antonio.
The Bucks led by five points at the half, by 12 after three quarters and by as many as 19 in the final period in putting away San Antonio to win its fifth game in a row and eighth in its past nine outings. The Bucks (32-5) are off to the best 37-game start in franchise history.
It was Antetokounmpo’s 19th game this season with 30 points or more.
Khris Middleton added 20 points, Robin Lopez had 14, Ersan Ilyasova scored 11 points and Brook Lopez contributed 10 points for the Bucks in the win. Milwaukee has not lost to a team this year with a record below .500.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 26 points while LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Rudy Gay added 15 points, Patty Mills scored 11 and Trey Lyles grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds for San Antonio (14-20).
The Spurs played without guard Dejounte Murray, who missed the game for personal reasons, the team announced.
The first half was an offensive explosion, with the Bucks taking a 71-66 lead to intermission.
San Antonio led by as many as 12 points in the half before the Bucks made their move, using an 11-0 run to surge to the lead in the first minute of the second quarter, then grabbing it again midway through the second quarter — a lead that grew to as many as nine points.
Bledsoe paced Milwaukee with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor, with Middleton adding 13 points in the half.
Aldridge led San Antonio with 16 points over the first 24 minutes, and DeRozan had 15.
The Spurs rallied to tie the score at 79 at the 6:57 mark of the third quarter on two free throws by DeRozan but Milwaukee rolled through the rest of the period, assuming its largest lead to that point on a 3-pointer by Turkish star Ersan Ilyasova at the buzzer that made it 103-91.