NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks beat San Antonio Spurs 127-118 for 5th straight win
MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 of his 32 points in the third quarter to help the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks beat the San Antonio Spurs 127-118 on Saturday night, Jan. 4.
The Bucks improved to 32-5 with their fifth straight victory since a Christmas Day loss in Philadelphia. Eric Bledsoe added 21 points.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 26 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 — all the first half. Rudy Gay had 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Ersan Ilyasova hit a buzzer-beating 3 to end the third quarter, giving Milwaukee a 103-91 lead, its biggest margin to that point.
Milwaukee scored more than 100 points for the 61st consecutive game, tying a mark set by the Houston Rockets during the 2016-17 season. The Bucks improved to 23-0 against sub-.500 teams this season.
Khris Middleton scored 20 points for the Bucks and backup center Robin Lopez had 14 points in 19 minutes.
Milwaukee hit 17 of 45 3-point attempts and shot 49.4% overall.
Spurs: Derrick White moved into the starting lineup in the absence of fourth-year guard Dejounte Murray, who was out due to personal reasons. White has juggled roles, making his 11th start while coming off the bench in 21 other appearances. “I think he’s done it well. It’s a pain in the rear to do that,” coach Gregg Popovich said. White had nine points in 23 minutes. … Popovuch was asked about Shaquille O’Neal’s comment that he sees himself when he watches Antetokounmpo. “I don’t remember Shaq bringing the ball upcourt,” Popovich said with a wry smile. “Maybe I didn’t pay attention. I don’t know. His force on the game is like Giannis’, that’s for sure. But I think they had a little bit different game.”
Bucks: Second-year guard Donte DiVincenzo sat out due to rest, a decision Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer made with a long-term view. “With the wings and the depth (the Bucks have), it’s just a great opportunity to keep Donte healthy,” Budenholzer said. “He’s playing so good for us. He’s having such a big impact on games and maybe it’s just trying to be aggressive, trying to be ahead of the curve. He probably thinks I’m insane.” DiVincenzo played in only 27 games as a rookie due to a right heel injury but has not had any problems with the foot this season. … Bucks veteran guard George Hill started his NBA career in 2008 with the Spurs and played three seasons under Popovich. “He was always a hard worker; he always had a smile on his face,” Popovich said. “He did whatever we needed to have done on the court.” Hill was traded to Indiana in 2011 in the deal that brought Kawhi Leonard to San Antonio.
Spurs: Host Milwaukee on Monday night.
Bucks: At San Antonio on Monday night.