SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Known as a mid-range shooting team for the past few seasons, the Spurs are starting to comprehend why San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has implored them to shoot more three-pointers.
DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs had a season-high 19 3-pointers to beat Milwaukee 126-104 yesterday, snapping the Bucks five-game winning streak.
“It’s big, confidence building,” DeRozan said. “Letting us know we could compete with the best teams in this league.”
San Antonio finished 19 for 35 on three-pointers in handing Milwaukee it’s largest defeat of the season.
Patty Mills added 21 points, including six for 10 on three-pointers. LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay added 18 points each, going a combined four for five on three-pointers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Milwaukee and Donte DiVincenzo added 16 points.
Four games after setting a season-high with 18 three-pointers against Detroit, the Spurs bested that mark when Gay hit the team’s 19th against Milwaukee.
Aldridge has keyed that run, going 16 for 23 on three-pointers in his last five games.
“With LaMarcus joining us on the three-point line and having the ability to knock them down, it does wonders in terms of spacing,” Mills said.
Aldridge has shot so well on 3s that the Bucks almost overlooked DeRozan’s mid-range game.
“We have a ton of respect for (DeRozan),” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think the way Aldridge has been shooting the three-point shot over the last five, six, seven games, a lot of talk was about, ‘Could we reduce those.’ He had a huge first quarter, first half on Saturday. I don’t want to say live with DeRozan’s 2s, but to some degree (we did), but I still think it’s the three-point line where they beat us.”
The Bucks, whose last loss was on December 25 at Philadelphia, maintain the league’s best record at 32-6.
Popovich somewhat agreed when asked if this was the Spurs’ most complete game of the season.
“It’d be hard to argue against that, I think,” he said. “The physicality was good. We started out the third quarter a little poorly as we have, going to try to figure that out, but I thought we were more consistent tonight in our physicality and executing game plan, we were more consistent. It was a good night.”