After winning by 13 points on the road in Toronto on Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs concluded their quick two game Northern road trip Wednesday with a 32-point victory (109-77) over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tim Duncan turned in a statistical-monster type performance in just three quarters of play (21 points, 9-of-12 shooting, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks in 24 minutes), while the Spurs played their machine-like style from the get-go as they held a 38-point lead at one time, and ended with six players scoring in double-figures.
Here’s a rundown of the Spurs’ 17th win of the season and 12th straight against teams with losing records.
The Offense: The Spurs’ offense didn’t sputter out of the gate like the previous game on Tuesday against Toronto, as they came out clicking on all cylinders with a 32-16 opening quarter. The ball was moving early on and the Spurs were shooting at a high clip. They would follow the first quarter with 31 and 29 points in the next two quarters, on their way to 109 points. Even though it wasn’t the best shooting night from beyond the arc (4-of-17), the team scored 42 points in the paint and every player who played scored aside from Jeff Ayres, who did have 10 rebounds. By the time the fourth quarter came, the Spurs were up 38 points and didn’t have to use any of their starters. In two straight nights, Duncan and Tony Parker only had to play in 6-of-8 quarters as they rested the entire fourth quarters of both of their games.
Duncan’s production in three quarters: Just take a look at Duncan’s shot chart and you can see that he was in rhythm throughout the night as he ripped through the Bucks’ frontline that didn’t have a lot of depth or size in the front court with Larry Sanders currently injured.
The Starters: Along with Duncan, the rest of the Spurs’ starters all scored 10 or more points minus Ayers. Parker ended with 15 points and five assists in just 20:51 minutes. Kawhi Leonard got to the free throw line as he went 7-of-8 from the line and finished with 13 points, while Danny Green had another double-figure night with 10 points while shooting 2-of-5 from beyond the arc.
The Foreign Legion: The Foreign Legion (Spurs’ bench) scored 50 points and collected 13 of the teams 25 assists. Even though former Spur Gary Neal didn’t play for the Bucks due to plantar fasciitis, he got to see the Spurs’ new bench guard/forward Marco Belinelli score an efficient 11 points off the bench. Patty Mills also had a strong third quarter where he scored all of his 9 points. Cory Joseph received some early minutes in the third quarter and he made the most of them as he shot 50% and scored 10 points on the night, mostly by being aggressive and driving to the rim.
The Defense: The Spurs’ defense was sharp and stayed consistent throughout the game as they held the Bucks below 25 points in every quarter, including two quarters where the Bucks only mustered up 16 and 14 points. The Bucks finished shooting 35% from the field, only made 2-of-15 three pointers, and turned the ball over 14 times. The Bucks’ starters shot a combined 7-of-28 from the field for just 19 combined points. Basically, Duncan outscored their entire starting unit; the Spurs’ defense was key for that happening.
Where they stand: With the win, the Spurs improved to 17-4 at the quarter mark of the season. They also moved to 9-2 on the road, they won their 10th game by 10 or more points, they are 12-0 against teams that are below .500, and 9-1 against the Eastern Conference. They hold the highest Net Rating in the NBA at +11.1. They’re 4th in offensive rating at 106.4 points per 100 possessions, and their defense continues to rank 2nd in the league at 95.3 points per 100 possessions.
Up Next: The Spurs will have an off day on Thursday before resuming play on Friday as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the AT&T Center. The Timberwolves are currently 11-11, have an offensive rating at 102.9 points per 100 possessions, a defensive rating of 100.1 points per 100 possessions, and have a Net Rating of +2.1.