Bonner leads Spurs past Bucks
Bonner scored all of his 17 points in the second half, Manu Ginobili was consistent again with 23 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Milwaukee Bucks 91-84 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
“Nothing against Matt, we’re Matt Bonner fans, but we know he’s going to pump fake and go right. He pump-faked and went right over, and over, and over again,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said.
“He made us pay.”
The Spurs improved the NBA’s best record to 33-6 despite a pace more fitting to the grinding Bucks, who came in as the worst shooting and lowest-scoring team in the league.
John Salmons scored 17 and Andrew Bogut had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks, losers of four of their last five.
An incredible effort by 5-foot-5 Earl Boykins helped Milwaukee regain a small advantage heading into the fourth.
With 1:58 left in the third and 4 seconds on the shot clock, the 6-foot-11 Duncan switched to guard Boykins, who picked up his dribble, pump faked and flipped an underhanded shot under Duncan’s left arm from about 10 feet that fell to give Milwaukee a 64-61 lead.
“It wasn’t over Tim, it was around Tim,” Boykins said.
Said Duncan: “Obviously, his size doesn’t matter. I guess it was the last option he had and somehow he made it. It was a heck of a play.”
The Bucks (14-22) dropped another close game against another strong opponent nearing the season’s midway point.
Milwaukee, which returned from Atlanta on Tuesday night after their game with the Hawks was postponed due to a winter storm, has now played all its games against five of the top six Western Conference teams.
Bogut had a double-double late in the first half, but the Spurs adjusted in the second and Bogut wasn’t a factor the rest of the way.
“San Antonio, they’re one of the few teams that no matter what, they don’t have the peaks and valleys,” Boykins said. “They just play consistent basketball for 48 minutes, and we didn’t do that and it showed. They played a solid game.”
Notes: Drew Gooden returned for Milwaukee after missing 15 of the last 20 games with a left foot injury. He finished with eight points in 11 minutes. ... Twenty-six of the Bucks’ 36 games this season have been against teams .500 or better, the most in the NBA. ... The Spurs have used the same starting lineup for every game this season.