San Antonio's veteran forward made that abundantly clear
Wednesday, scoring 21 points and grabbing 16 rebounds as the Spurs
rolled to a 109-77 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO
Harris Bradley Center.
"Timmy is playing well," Spurs coach Greg Popovich said. "He is like
an anomaly really. He's out there with one leg and just keeps on
playing beautiful basketball, and he makes everyone around him
better by the decisions he makes and just the way he plays so
unselfishly. He's still the base of everything we do."
Duncan did most of his damage in the first quarter, scoring 12
points on 6-of-8 shooting as the Spurs (17-4) built a 32-16 lead. By
halftime, he already notched his third double-double of the season.
"I just made shots," Duncan said. "We moved the ball real well and
we made open shots. We were able to get a lead and defensively, we
were solid; real active and just good energy for us on a
Including Duncan, who played just 24 minutes, five San Antonio
players scored in double figures.
Point guard Tony Parker had 15 points and five assists, forward
Kawhi Leonard scored 13, and guards Danny Green and Cory Joseph
added 10 apiece.
San Antonio starting forward Jeff Ayres did not score, but he pulled
down 10 rebounds, seven of them in the first half.
"We don't worry so much about who we're playing or about what we're
going to put on the floor and how we're going to do it," Duncan
said. "Good focus for us tonight, good execution for us. We came in
with the right energy. ... Guys came off the bench and played really
well, and we were able to keep our minutes down."
San Antonio shot 52.3 percent from the field and dominated on the
boards, outrebounding the Bucks, 52-37.
Milwaukee (5-17) won two of its last three, including a 78-74
decision over the Bulls on Tuesday night in Chicago, but the Bucks
were out of it from the opening tip Wednesday.
"The first two or three minutes, they just were on a pack and on
target with everything they did," Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said.
"Their offensive execution is as good as anyone in our league."
The Bucks missed 14 shots in the first quarter and shot 34.5 percent
for the game. Their worst showing, though, came in the third when
they went 6-for-23 from the field, missed five of six 3-pointers and
fell behind by 38 points heading into the fourth.
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Rookie point guard Nate Wolters was Milwaukee's leading
scorer with 18 points in 30 minutes, his longest effort since
playing 34 against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 15. Forward
Giannis Antetokounmpo, another rookie, added 15 points and eight
rebounds in 33 minutes.
Reserve center Miroslav Raduljica added 10 points and seven
rebounds, both season highs.
"They were really tough to guard," Wolters said. "They spaced
the floor really well, and with Parker and Duncan, they really
took it to us from the beginning, and we just never recovered.
We were getting good looks, we just weren't knocking them down,
but it's tough to get your offense going when you're down by
that much right away."
Looking for a spark, Drew gave just over 150 minutes to his
reserves, who combined to score 58 of the Milwaukee's 77 points.
"The second unit came in and gave us some energy, but by that
time, the deficit was too big to overcome," Drew said. "If
there's a silver lining to tonight's game, it would be that most
of our young guys got minutes. Giannis made the most of his
minutes, Nate made the most of his, and Miroslav, who I have
very seldom used, came in and made the most of his minutes."
Point guard Brandon Knight had the best night among the Bucks'
starters, finishing with eight points and an assist in 18
NOTES: One night after setting season highs with 14 points and
six rebounds, Spurs C Aron Baynes was unavailable Wednesday due
to a sprained ankle. ... The Spurs' .810 winning percentage
marks the sixth time in franchise history that the team won at
least 80 percent of their first 21 games. ... PG Nate Wolters
led the Bucks in scoring for the first time this season. ... San
Antonio improved to 9-1 against Eastern Conference teams this
season. The Spurs are 7-1 in the past eight meetings with
Milwaukee. ... The Bucks trailed from start to finish three
times this season. ... San Antonio F Tim Duncan has 770 career
double-doubles, the most among active players.
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