The Milwaukee Bucks came into San Antonio last night after coming from behind to beat the Dallas Mavericks and busting their winning streak.
Early in the game, it looked like the Spurs wouldn’t face the same problems as they had a 15 point lead going into the half, but the second half proved other wise, as the Bucks made a 19-5 run.
With the game on the line, tied 90-90 with seconds left in the fourth quarter, Manu Ginobili did what we’ve seen him do several times now, win the game for the Spurs.
Ginobili was heavily guarded by Luc Mbah a Moute, when he put up the fallaway jumper that went through the net as the buzzer sounded, giving the Spurs a 92-90 win.
Sandwiched between Ginobili’s game tying three-pointer and his game winner were two layups that were blocked by Andrew Bogut, so he said he knew he didn’t want to take it back into the paint for the final shot.
“It was a tough shot, (Mbah a Moute) guarded me really well. Anyway, I prefer playing against one, not against two, him and Bogut,” Ginobili said. “I got lucky. I made the shot and we all celebrated.”
While many in the AT&T Center celebrated and some of the players may have been happy to leave San Antonio with a win, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had other things in mind.
“Manu hit a hell of a shot to pull it out for us. We played a great half, but we didn’t play 48 minutes. I thought in the second half they were more aggressive,” Popvich said. “I thought our defense really let up and I thought mentality wise, we did a very poor job in the third and fourth quarters as far as making stops and let them back in the ballgame.”
“We were just lucky. Just a lucky win”
It’s hard to disagree. There is likely way too much tape on their defensive inconsistencies throughout the second quarter.
While Tim Duncan got seven blocks at the rim, there were also way too many open shots due to the Spurs being slow on closeouts. Even when players did close out quick, some of the bigs need to start chopping their feet as they attempt to close out on someone else’s player. In the process, the Bucks players flew by them and got to the rim or pulled up for open mid-range jumpers.
Luckily on the last play of the game, the defense showed up and allowed the Spurs the chance to win the game.
“RJ and Tony, Tony was unbelievable chasing Jennings. He’s not the type of player that’s easy to stop, so it was a great job defensively and TD got the rebound and called the timeout right away so we had time to design a play and do it with time,” Ginobili said.
Ginobili had 26 points, six rebounds and four assists. Tim Dunan had 13 points, 11 rebounds and an impressive seven blocked shots. Tony Parker finished the game with 16 points and eight assists.
With the win, the Spurs are now a league best 21-3 and will look to improve on that tonight against Denver.
Note: Tiago Splitter left the game in the third quarter with a right adductor contusion and is day-to-day. DeJuan Blair also left the game with a hyperextended right knee.