SAINT ANTONY – Keldon Johnson scored 29 points and the San Antonio Spurs snapped a five-game winning streak with a 111-93 victory over the battered Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
Devin Vassell had 22 points in San Antonio’s first win since Oct. 30. Jakob Poeltl added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Milwaukee played without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Kris Middleton, Pat Connaughton, Grayson Allen, Joe Ingles and AJ Green due to health issues.
“We loved the win,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “It was great. Our guys played great. Of course, they were shorthanded like crazy, but you go out and play whoever’s out there. They came to win, (they’re) safeties, obviously well coached. They had a great opportunity to do this (and win a championship).”
Jevon Carter scored 21 points for the Bucks, and Brook Lopez had 19. Bobby Portis finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
San Antonio was 12-of-31 from 3-point range, including 5-of-8 by Johnson. The Spurs also blocked the Bucks’ fast break, leading 21-0.
Milwaukee shot a season-low 33 percent from the field, which Popovich attributed to good defense and a frazzled opponent.
The Spurs outscored the Bucks 28-17 in the fourth. Johnson made a 3-pointer and jump shot to make it 101-83 with 4:39 remaining.
Milwaukee fell behind 75-54 midway through the third quarter.
“When we were down 21, that’s when you think, ‘Maybe tonight is going to be a bad night,’” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
San Antonio dominated the paint early with Antetokounmpo sidelined for the second straight game with sore left knee. In the first half, the Spurs led 28-8 in the paint and had nine blocks while the Bucks only had two.
“We knew they were going to come out, they still have good players,” Johnson said. “They won a championship. We knew they knew how to win, so we knew if we came out indifferent it could be a long night for us.”
Allen was included in the starting lineup for the public address announcer, but was ruled out due to illness other than COVID-19.
Budenholzer learned that Allen was unable to play 30 seconds before kickoff.
“Grayson just had stomach problems,” Budenholzer said. “I saw him leave. I just thought sometimes guys go to the locker room for a quick second before the jump between two. Obviously, it was more than that.”
Spurs backup center Charles Bassey had a career-high 14 rebounds. He also matched a career high with four blocks to go along with five points in 18 minutes.
The Spurs signed Bassey after he was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 13.
Bucks: Holiday (right ankle sprain), Middleton (left wrist ligament surgery), Connaughton (right calf strain), Groin (left knee ACL surgery) and Green (nasal fracture surgery) will be They were sidelined due to injuries. … G Justin Nwora made his first start of the season in place of Allen. … Budenholzer and the Bucks were baffled by a game call delay that resulted in a technical foul with 2.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter. An official bounced a ball after the second of George Hill’s free throws, but it didn’t appear intentional.
Spurs: Johnson has a 3-pointer in 29 straight, the second-longest streak in franchise history behind Danny Green’s 32 in a row in 2012. Chuck Person had 28 in a row in 1996. … F Jeremy Sochan dyed his pink hair to match adorning the Spurs’ City Edition uniforms, which paid tribute to the franchise that hosted the 1996 NBA All-Star Game at the Alamodome. … Former Spurs F Paul Pressey was in attendance and was honored by the team in the opening quarters as part of the team’s 50th anniversary celebration. Pressey played for San Antonio in 1990 and 1991 as part of his 11-year NBA career.
Bucks: Host Atlanta on Monday.
Spurs: At Golden State on Monday.