Just as it seemed like they had started to find some momentum, the Milwaukee Bucks suffered a massive setback against the San Antonio Spurs Monday night.
Milwaukee’s five-game winning streak came to an abrupt end as San Antonio manhandled the Bucks with a 146-125 victory. Despite several attempts to close that gap throughout brief stretches in this game, the Spurs were seemingly in control from start to finish as their biggest lead grew to 27 in the final period.
Not only will the Bucks have to stomach the embarrassment of this 21-point defeat, but they will also have to consider what it means for their chances of moving up in the standings.
The Bucks had been in a back and forth battle with the Brooklyn Nets for the second seed with just a handful of games left to play, and although Milwaukee owns the tiebreaker, this loss just made their chances of getting that second spot much more difficult.
Although the Bucks have repeatedly assured that they do not care about the standings, that will not make this loss easier to digest. With that being said, here are three takeaways from the ugly defeat in San Antonio last night.
The Milwaukee Bucks get torched from deep in loss to the Spurs
The Spurs entered this matchup ranking near the bottom in points per game this season, but they used a barrage of 3-pointers to run up the score against the Bucks.
Although they shot just 29 triples, the Spurs were insanely efficient as they knocked down 17 of them. It seemed like every player wearing a grey jersey had it going with their shooting, particularly Patty Mills, who shot 6-for-10 from behind the arc in the contest.
Whenever the Bucks cut the deficit to below 20 points, the Spurs would seemingly trot down the floor and knock down another triple to bury Milwaukee further. While some of this could be attributed to an all-around red-hot shooting night for San Antonio, there were unquestionably some lackluster efforts on the defensive end from Milwaukee throughout.
Furthermore, the Bucks did not do much to keep themselves afloat on offense as they shot an abysmal 13-for-41 from deep. It was a poor shooting night for everyone on the roster, which spelled doomed for Milwaukee as San Antonio was on the opposite side of the spectrum.
Cold shooting spells are bound to happen some nights for the Bucks, but seeing the opposing team knock down these triples is certainly the more worrisome takeaway here. Defending the perimeter remains Milwaukee’s fatal flaw and it still looms large with just four regular season games remaining.