SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs fell 94-87 to the Milwaukee Bucks at the AT&T Center on Friday night in the fifth game of their sixth game homestand.
The loss was particularly frustrating for the Silver and Black, who chipped away a 14-point Bucks lead in the second half, but could not get over the hump. San Antonio struggled with a scrappy Milwaukee defense, which affected the Spurs offense.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili, and Kyle Anderson.
- Despite going down 14 points in the third quarter, San Antonio rallied to cut the lead down to six heading into the fourth quarter. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich inserted his two-guard lineup of Bryn Forbes and Patty Mills, who sparked the Silver and Back with five three-pointers.
- LaMarcus Aldridge did not back down from the league’s leading scorer Giannis Antetokounmpo, despite the 22-year-old’s size advantage. Aldridge constantly went into the paint and stayed aggressive, a much better improvement for the Spurs forward over last season.
- Manu Ginobili drank his “grandpa juice”
- San Antonio committed 18 turnovers in the game, making it difficult to win any game. While some credit goes to Milwaukee’s defense, the Spurs had unforced turnovers as well. Patty Mills had passed the ball into press row in the first half, intending the pass for Aldridge.
- The Spurs struggled to score the basketball in the third quarter as Milwaukee outscored 24-10 in the first six minutes and 30-23 for the period.
- For whatever reason, the Spurs went away from giving Aldridge the ball down the stretch in the fourth quarter. That may have ended up being a critical error when Pop and the coaches look back at the game film with the team.
Three standout players:
Manu Ginobili: The Spurs legend had his best game of the season, scoring 18 points on 70 percent shooting (7-for-10). Ginobili stayed aggressive as he constantly drove to the basket and when he was trapped or doubled, he found the open man.
Ginobili finished with three assists on the night and had a huge three-pointer in the third quarter as the Spurs rallied in the third. He found Aldridge for a lay up and showed heart and grit against a young Milwaukee team. The 40-year-old stuck his hands in passes for steals and tried to disrupt the Bucks offense on several occasions.
Kyle Anderson: San Antonio would not have rallied back in the third quarter if it was not for the play of Kyle Anderson. The former UCLA Bruin posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four assists.
Anderson used his length to drive the paint and did what he could to get the ball over the outstretched arms of Antetokounmpo. Anderson also used his defense to help out Aldridge near the basket as he blocked and stole the ball from The Greek Freak and had a block on Bucks center John Henson.
While Kawhi Leonard has been out with injury, Anderson has filled his role nicely on most night’s. Friday may have possibly been the best all around game of Anderson’s career, it was his play the gave the Spurs the opportunity to win.
LaMarcus Aldridge: The Spurs forward posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Friday saw Aldridge show flashes of the great Tim Duncan. Milwaukee constantly double-teamed and sometimes triple teamed Aldridge, but he passed the ball to an open man.
In the third quarter he found an open Bryn Forbes and Mills for three’s. He found Manu and Kyle Anderson for buckets as well. Aldridge showed a toughness going up against The Greek Freak and Henson in the paint and stayed aggressive all night long.
He had his shot going from inside and outside, a solid sign for Popovich as well as the Spurs faithful.
Up next: The Spurs are now 7-5 on the season and will close out their homestand against the Chicago Bulls at 7:30 p.m. at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.