After coming off two straight road wins, the Milwaukee Bucks were our matched and out played by the San Antonio Spurs all night, falling 123-98 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Monday night.
The Bucks got off to a hot start in the first quarter shooting 77% on 13 of 17 shooting. Despite the hot start, they only led the Spurs 30-29 after the first quarter.
It was all Spurs from that point on. San Antonio went on a 17-1 run in the second quarter to take a 50-37 lead over the Bucks sparked by rookie Jonathan Simmons off the bench.
Simmons scored 12 of his career-high 18 points in the second quarter, and brought great energy off the bench with a few flashy dunks as well. Simmons only averages 5.4 points per game this season.
“With the second unit, we are the unit that brings the juice. That’s what we try to do. We thrive on being unselfish and finding the open guy. It’s just players making plays,” said Simmons.
Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty was fond of Simmons play by saying, “I thought he really came in and impacted the game. His energy and effort for pushing the ball down the floor and how aggressive he was, I think we came out with good energy, but he was someone that heavily impacted the game.”
Meanwhile, the Bucks shot opposite of how they shot in the first quarter by shooting only 30% in the second quarter. After the first quarter, the Bucks struggled to get anything going on San Antonio’s defense all game.
“We started out very lethargic defensively. The second quarter they scored only 19 points and our defense was very good. That’s where we got separation,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on what turned the game around.
Midway through the third quarter the Spurs took full control of the game and didn’t let the Bucks get within single digits of the lead. Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 24 points on 9 of 12 shooting. LaMarcus Aldridge had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Tim Duncan also notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“They have a championship pedigree. They know what it takes to win and every night they come out and do it. It’s the same thing every night. They play hard, they play together, and they trust each other,” said Bucks center Greg Monroe.
Khris Middleton scored a team-high 19 points for the Bucks. Michael Carter-Williams added 16 points with 6 assists, and Monroe contributed with 15 points and 8 rebounds.
With the win, the Spurs have now won eight straight games against the Bucks, and has now swept the season series against Milwaukee in four consecutive seasons.
The Bucks will look to bounce back when they head to Chicago to match up against the Bulls on Tuesday night (1/5).