Official Bucks at Spurs Game Thread (7:30)
Milwaukee (8 - 8)
San Antonio (14 - 4)
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO
(AP) -- Resting key players last week led to a hefty fine for the San Antonio Spurs.
This time, they're not likely to draw that kind of attention from the commissioner.
Injuries may cause the Spurs to be without as many as four players as they go for a seventh win in eight tries Wednesday night against the sputtering Milwaukee Bucks.
Coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs (14-4) drew national attention and the ire of commissioner David Stern when they sent four starters home ahead of a nationally televised 105-100 loss at Miami on Thursday, which capped a six-game, nine-day road trip. Stern issued a statement apologizing to fans and later fined San Antonio $250,000.
The rest may have helped the Spurs to Saturday's 99-95 overtime win against Southwest Division rival Memphis. Tony Parker had 30 points while Tim Duncan scored a season-high 27 with 15 rebounds after both were rested two days earlier with Manu Ginobili and Danny Green.
Now, resting players may not be optional for Popovich.
San Antonio is dealing with injuries to Green (left hamstring), Gary Neal (Achilles), Kawhi Leonard (right knee) and Stephen Jackson (finger). Green, averaging 9.8 points, exited Saturday's victory after failing to register a point while missing seven field-goal attempts in 19 minutes.
Neal, scoring 11.1 points per game, is averaging 17.3 over the past three contests.
"Pretty concerned about Wednesday," Popovich said. "We'll see what the status is with Gary and Danny. We've played (Boris Diaw) at (small forward) on the road trip, so we could not overplay some people. That'll probably continue."
Diaw is known for his aggressive defensive play and is only averaging 5.8 points. However, he scored 12 with six rebounds as a starter against the Heat before returning to the bench Saturday and contributing three points.
"We're very lucky that we have a very deep team," Ginobili said. "Of course, missing three of our small forwards is hard, but hopefully we're going to be able to mask it."
Playing at home may also help since the Spurs have won seven of the last nine meetings when the Bucks (8-8) visit. Ginobili hit a 17-foot, fade-away buzzer beater to give the Spurs a 92-90 victory in the most recent matchup in San Antonio on Dec. 15, 2010.
With Ginobili out due to a broken hand, San Antonio fell 106-103 at Milwaukee on Jan. 10 in the only matchup last season.
The Bucks may get another chance to capitalize on absences for the Spurs after losing for the sixth time in eight games Monday, 102-81 at New Orleans.
"When we're really moving the ball around, we're really hard to guard," coach Scott Skiles said. "When we start dribbling too much, we get in trouble."
Milwaukee relies heavily on guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, who lead the team with averages of 18.6 and 17.0 points, respectively.
"Those guys can get hot and take over a game," Neal said. "We know that going in. We're just going to stay focused defensively and hope they have a bad game."
Ellis is averaging 27.4 points over his last nine games against the Spurs, but they all ended in losses with Golden State. He had 38 points while shooting 15 of 30 from the floor and added seven assists in a 101-95 defeat Jan. 4, two months before being traded to Milwaukee.
Jennings, who had a team-high 25 points Monday, scored 15 with 11 assists against San Antonio last season, with four of those points coming in the final minutes to put the Bucks ahead for good.
Tough Physical Game!! Not an automatic W.
Spurs pull together as a TEAM and bring it lead by TP.
Reserves will Rise Up and Grind it!
Spurs TEAM 91
Let's Go Spurs!:rock
Over the years there seems to be some kind of curse upon the Spurs when they play Milwaukee. It doesn't really matter who the coach or players are. Time to break the spell.
Spurs win a tough physical game - 105- 93
With Mills, Green, Leonard and Capt Jack out, it's going to be tough at the guard spot seeing if our guys can hold down the scoring from Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. It will be close, if we win since Milwaukee, for some reason, plays us really tough.
I was at the arena tonight and the Spurs were flat until our bench did it again, got us back into the game in the 4th quarter. A lot of energy was generated by Anderson, Splitter, Bonner, Neal and DeColo. DeColo didn't play a second in the 1st half -- what a waste.
Give Gregg Popovich and his Coaching Partners a whole lot of credit.
Dilemma was solved!!!
Spurs were coming from a 3 day off RUSTY with lots of exhaust on mind and body.. From the media hype about $250k fine and the Halloween Pics. plus the news of the so added injuries to Green and recalling De Colo after he played one game in the Toros. Then recalling Joseph and losing Mills during practice today. And Milwaukee coming after winning a tough game in Chicago. The Bucks played tough at the 1st half.
Tim played great and Tony did too. Starters played well to keep us close until the end of the second quarter where Spurs starters looked exhausted. Spurs Bench (De Colo and Splitter *Who was awesome* and Anderson and Bonner. they all sparked the game momentum back to Spurs come second half! Indeed Great Timing from Pop and his coaching staff! They did it with HUGE effort defensively! Key one of that bench was James Anderson great hustles and D! Huge. Bonner was good too. De Colo was GREAT!
Starters almost lost that lead back as they entered. I guess there is some STRONG Chemistry from the Bench!!! Pop even said in his post game interview the bench brought Great energy better than the "Others"!!!!!
Manu was the (Chain) that causes things to roll.
Manu was Huge leader out there! His Smart way to Bring it. His tough minded Refuse to lose would bring the Starter to connect with the Bench. Manu was the instigator! He sparks both and then he hit some key 3's. Manu's hustles and mental effort to guide the newbies and the bench is real AMAZING!
I felt this game as a Great Momentum builder and this could very well be the Turning Point *we shall see the next games coming* to this season because some big keys come together as the injured players were out and Pop discovered some new talents *other* Spurs showed.
Next test is going to be an interesting one Friday night vs. H Town in SA but a First of a B2B games!
Go Spurs Go
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