NBA

Budenholzer credits Spurs for making life hard for Giannis and NBA champions Bucks

By Sports Desk October 31, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer begrudgingly applauded the San Antonio Spurs' effectiveness as they "made it hard" on Giannis Antetokounmpo in a surprise 102-93 win.

NBA champions the Bucks have now suffered consecutive defeats, with the loss to the Spurs coming on the back of a 113-108 reverse to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Spurs (2-4) trumped the Bucks (3-3) on the road in Milwaukee partly thanks to point guard Dejounte Murray, who scored 16 of his 23 points in the final period.

Murray entered the contest having put up 44 points, 22 rebounds and 23 assists over his previous two games – the only Spurs player in the past 30 seasons to have had at least 40 points, 20 rebounds and 20 assists over a two-game span, according to Stats Perform.

Antetokounmpo top-scored for the Bucks, posting a double-double of 28 points and 13 rebounds, yet he and Khris Middleton accounted for 11 of their 19 turnovers, which converted to 21 points for the Spurs.

While Budenholzer was keen to emphasise the need for collective effectiveness, he expects better from two of his most-dependable stars.

"It's just a tough night," Budenholzer told reporters. "I think we turned it over too much. Both those guys [Antetokounmpo and Middleton] included. We probably didn't shoot it well enough.

 

"And credit to San Antonio. They found a way to get a win and they made it hard on Khris, they made it hard on Giannis, they contested our shooters. I think Giannis and Khris can both be better, but we've got to be better around them, too.

"It wasn't a pretty game. I think defensively, probably, that should be enough to hold them to 102 [points] and 41 [per cent shooting].

"The corner three that [Keldon] Johnson made, they found a way to make some timely baskets. We needed that timely stop.

"We probably needed one or two more stops in a timely moment and they made a couple of timely baskets and they were able to get the win."

But while Budenholzer seemed frustrated with his own team, Antetokounmpo preferred to simply acknowledge the great sharp-shooting on display from the Spurs, accepting that sometimes the other team is just better.

"They made some shots," he added. "They made some shots late. One from the corner, one from the wing on top of me.

"They made some big shots. You've just got to tip your hat. They played well."

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