SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs moved one step closer to clinching a spot in the play-in game with a 146-125 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks (43-25) at the AT&T Center on Monday night.
The victory could not have come at a better time for San Antonio, who reduced their magic number to clinch a play-in spot to one game. This means any combination of a Spurs win or New Orleans Pelicans loss will get them in.
“Yeah, we needed them to do that one time, didn’t we? We’ve lost a few wins that way,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said. “But that was a wire-to-wire disciplined performance. They should be very happy.”
DeMar DeRozan had 23 points to lead the Spurs while Dejounte Murray added 21 points and nine assists for San Antonio, who set a franchise record for points in the first half with 87.
Keldon Johnson and Patty Mills each had 20 points. Rudy Gay chipped in 19 points off the bench for San Antonio.
Milwaukee saw their five-game winning streak snapped with the loss and fell a game behind the Brooklyn Nets for second place in the Eastern Conference.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting for the Bucks. Khris Middleton added 23 points and Jrue Holiday chipped in 20.
After dropping a game in Boston where they led by over 30 points, the Spurs were determined to not let it happen a second time.
“With our experience of letting games get away from us, we understood what we needed to do,” DeRozan said.
The Spurs are now 33-35 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center against the Brooklyn Nets at 7:00 PM.