The San Antonio Spurs put together a better overall performance but would fall 127-118 to the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks (32-5) at the Fiserv Forum on Saturday night.
The game kicked off a home-and-home series between the two teams. The Spurs will host the Bucks on Monday to wrap up the season series.
San Antonio kept things close in the first half, trailing by two points at the end of the first quarter, outscoring the Bucks 31-29 in the opening 12 minutes. Lonnie Walker IV made his first career start in place of the struggling Bryn Forbes.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 26 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go along with four rebounds and five assists. LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 10 rebounds, including going 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
Things fell apart for San Antonio in the third quarter as Milwaukee outscored the Spurs 32-25 in the period with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 19 of his game-high 32 points in the quarter.
“I thought we did a really good job in the first half, but he (Antetokounmpo) got away from us,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said. ”It’s a hell of a team. Those brothers killed us with the blocks and we were fouling too much.”
The Spurs struggled to contain the hot Milwaukee shooting from beyond the arc. The Bucks went 17 of 45 (37.8%) from three-point range as Eric Bledsoe went 4-for-6. San Antonio won the rebounding battle 51-49 with Trey Lyles and Aldridge combining for 24 of the Spurs’ 49 boards.
The Spurs are now 14-20 on the season and will return to the court on Monday night when they welcome the Bucks (32-5) to the AT&T Center to close out the season series with Milwaukee. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.