Despite a great shooting effort making 60 percent (45-of-75) of their shots from the field, the San Antonio Spurs suffered their fourth loss in as many games on the road after dropping a 106-103 decision against the Milwaukee Bucks.
It was the fourth time that the Spurs allowed their opponents to shoot 50 percent or more from the floor, all resulting in defeats.
Also, it didn’t helped that T.J. Ford, San Antonio’s primary backup point guard, strained his left hamstring after a driving layup with 30 seconds left during the first half of the game.
But losing Ford to injury was only a part of the problem, if the Spurs want to get back to their winning ways, they have to step their defense up a notch and take care of the basketball a lot better.
Coach Gregg Popovich took some blame in the loss against the Bucks saying this on the final possession:
“They worked hard to try and get something, I let them down at the end of the game.”
While there is some truth to that, the game shouldn’t be that close during the final minutes in the first place had the Spurs took care extra care of the ball and worked on their transition defense.
How bad were the Spurs defensively?
San Antonio had 16 turnovers compared to Milwaukee’s 11. The Bucks were able to capitalize on the Spurs’ miscues scoring 25 points off turnovers, while the Spurs only produced 11.
It also didn’t helped that Stephen Jackson had a great shooting night, the former Spur torched them with 34 points on 12-of-17 shooting, including 3-0f-4 from behind the arc.
Nevertheless, the Spurs did their part on offense.
Tim Duncan turned in his best offensive performance of the season finishing with 20 points, eight boards, seven assists, three blocks and one steal, and rookie Kawhi Leonard had another impressive effort, chipping in 19 points, three rebounds and four steals in 33 minutes of action.
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 22 points and eight assists but he accounted for seven of his team’s 16 turnovers.
The most critical mistake he made, might have caused them the game.
After a rebound by Richard Jefferson with 1:07 left, the Spurs had a chance to score a go-ahead basket, but Parker lost the ball to Brandon Jennings who completed the steal with a dunk that gave the Bucks a 106-103 lead with only 50 seconds left to play.
Still, the Spurs had their chances.
However, a charging call (that is up for debate) on Duncan on the next play sealed the win for the Bucks.
With that, San Antonio remained winless on the road, and will head back home tomorrow night to face the Houston Rockets at the AT&T Center.