Bucks bounce back to beat Spurs in Texas

Published October 24, 2021, 2:25 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots in the game against the San Antonio Spurs on October 23, 2021 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (AFP)

Khris Middleton scored 28 points and all five Milwaukee starters finished in double figures as the injury-hit Bucks beat the San Antonio Spurs 121-111 on Saturday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in 21 points for the defending NBA champion Bucks, who used a strong fourth quarter run to seize control against the Spurs after suffering through a blowout loss to Miami two nights earlier.

“Just find a way to bounce back,” Middleton said. “It’s just how you adjust, how you respond to that. I think tonight, for the most part, the effort was in the right place.”

Jrue Holiday and Pat Connaughton each scored 16 points, reserve George Hill scored 15 and Grayson Allen added 10 points for Milwaukee.

The banged-up Bucks played without starting centre Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo and Bobby Portis, who usually contribute scoring off the bench.

Milwaukee built a 101-91 lead at the 8:40 mark of the fourth to take command of the contest in front of a crowd of 18,300 at the AT&T Center in Texas.

The game was the second of a road-home back-to-back for the Spurs, who flew back to San Antonio Saturday morning after a loss in Denver on Friday.

Elsewhere, the Cleveland Cavaliers posted their first win of the new season, with a 101-95 win over the Atlanta Hawks thanks largely to a 23-point performance from Ricky Rubio.

Rubio shot nine-of-15 from the floor and added eight assists as Cleveland halted a two game losing skid.

Rookie Evan Mobley finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds and Jarrett Allen had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen each scored 12.

“We’re definitely really happy about our first win, it felt great,” Mobley said. “But we don’t want to just settle on it. We want to keep winning and growing from here.”

Trae Young led the Hawks with 24 points, including 15 in the first half. Cam Reddish came off the bench to score 19 but Cleveland struggled shooting the ball, making just 10 of 34 from the three-point line.

The Cavs have won six of their last seven against the Hawks in Cleveland.

“As Evan kept making plays, we kept giving him the ball,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.

“He’s got that straight face, but his skill set is diverse and versatile. Evan has earned our trust because of how quickly he’s picked things up.”

In Toronto, Luka Doncic compiled 27 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds as the visiting Dallas Mavericks defeated the Toronto Raptors 103-95.

Tim Hardaway added 25 points for the Mavericks, who won for the first time this season after losing their opener Thursday in Atlanta.

 
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