Game rewind: Slumping Bucks add to Spurs road woes

It was one of those nights for the Spurs.

After getting strong offensive efforts from Tim Duncan and Tony Parker to start the game, the Spurs appeared ready to snap the nagging road losing streak that had dogged them since the start of the season.

But the Spurs discombulated down the stretch, allowing the Bucks to snatch a victory away despite San Antonio leading for much of the second half. The Spurs squandered a seven-point lead — their largest of the game — early in the fourth quarter.

Game analysis: The Spurs received strong efforts from Duncan, Parker and Kawhi Leonard throughout most of the game, but it wasn’t enough as they couldn’t hold off Milwaukee’s fast-closing duo of Stephen Jackson and Brandon Jennings.

Where the game was won: The Spurs squandered two chances to win or tie in the final minute.  Trailing 104-103, Parker was stripped by Jennings, who finished the play with a  transition dunk giving gave them a 106-103 with less than 50 seconds. And after San Antonio had won a jump ball with 15 seconds remaining, Gregg Popovich couldn’t get his team to call a timeout.  Parker fed the ball to Richard Jefferson, who missed a 3-pointer as time expired for the final margin.

Player of the game I: Jackson bounced out of a slump that had dogged him all season to score 34 points and provide eight assists. Coming into the game, he was shooting  32.0 percent from the field.

Player of the game II: Duncan had his strongest game of the season with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and three blocked shots. It was his first game with at least 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists since his vintage 21-point, 16-rebound, eight-assist, five-blocked shot game against New York last Jan. 21.

 Player of the game III: Leonard had the best game of his young NBA career with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals in 33 minutes. It may have shown enough to convince Popovich to provide him with his first career start while T.J. Ford recuperates. 

Most unsung: Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut spent most of Monday flying back from Australia after taking care of an undisclosed family emergency. Despite struggling in the first half to stick with Duncan and find his conditioning, Bogut played through his weariness and provided a strong second half. Bogut snatched seven of his game-high 11 rebounds in the second half, providing the Bucks with an inside presence that helped free Jackson and Jennings outside.

Did you notice: The Spurs led in the second half for the first time on the road this season and even had an advantage into the fourth quarter. In their three previous road losses, the Spurs had not led after halftime.

Stat of the game: The Bucks forced 16 Spurs turnovers and turned them into 25 points. Six of the turnovers came in the fourth quarter, including two in the final minute.

Stat of the game II: Milwaukee snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory.

Stat of the game III: The Bucks hit 9 of 14 3-point shots for a season-best 64.3 percent.

Weird stat of the game: The Spurs shot 60 percent from the field and still lost. An NBA team has shot 60 percent and lost only four times since 1999.

Weird stat of the game II: Since the 1999 lockout, the Bucks have beaten the Spurs 13 out of 25 times. Their victory Tuesday night snapped a four-game losing streak to the Spurs.

Quote of the game: ”It’s the worst defensive team we’ve ever had. We have a long way to go,” Popovich on his team’s defensive struggles.

How the schedule stacks up: The Spurs were on the front end of of a back-to-back and will play Houston Wednesday night at the ATT Center. The Bucks will rest until a  back-to-back with a Thursday game against Detroit and a Friday night game at Dallas.

Injuries: Manu Ginobili missed his fifth game after undergoing surgery for a fractured fifth left metacarpal.  Ford strained his hamstring late in the first quarter and did not return. Popovich said there is no timetable for his return. Milwaukee played without guard Mike Dunleavy (groin injury), forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (right knee tendinitis) and former Spurs guard Beno Udrih (left shoulder sprain).

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