Turnovers Spell Doom For Spurs’ Win Streak

Somewhere in his halftime remarks Friday, Gregg Popovich is sure he mentioned it.

A few of his players swear they heard it.

Among the keys to beating a long and rangy, Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Milwaukee team was this: Try not to throw the ball directly to a guy wearing a Bucks jersey.

So when the Spurs began the second half of what became a 94-87 loss at the AT&T Center by gagging up three consecutive turnovers?

"Very disappointing," said a very disappointed Manu Ginobili afterward.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a basketball coach to decipher the Spurs' troubles in their second home loss of the season Friday.

They committed 18 turnovers against a team that can transform them into dunks in the span of two dribbles.

The Spurs were mostly fine so long as they forced the Bucks to execute halfcourt offense. When they fed Milwaukee's fast break, well, Antetokounmpo finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four blocks while putting on a personal slam-dunk show.

"We can't turn the ball over the way we're constituted right now," Popovich said. "Every time we have a high turnover game, we are going to have problems."

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Spurs, and a four-game losing skid for Milwaukee.

It dropped the Spurs to 7-5 during their Kawhi Leonard-less start to the season, with losses coming against defending champion Golden State and four teams from the Eastern Conference.

"We turned it over too many times," Spurs center Pau Gasol said. "They capitalized. That's where they're most dangerous, forcing those turnovers and getting on the break and then Giannis being able to finish over anyone."

The Spurs saw all this one film. The Bucks are led by a "Greek Freak" of physical proportions almost biologically impossible.

Truth be told, Milwaukee is a team populated by freaks, a thicket of arms and legs that make certain passes impossible.

Now Playing:

Express-News Spurs reporter Jabari Young recaps the Spurs’97-84 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and hear from Gregg Popovich and Pau Gasol in this post game video.

Media: Jabari Young

The Spurs didn't learn this until it was too late.

Danny Green committed six of the Spurs' turnovers. Four other players gave up at least two.

A game after logging a season scoring high in a 120-107 shellacking of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Spurs matched their season scoring low Friday.

"When we moved the ball, when we attacked, when we didn't hold it, we created advantages," Gasol said. "When we held it, that's when they're at their best. When we got to the sideline, that's where they're at their best. When we attack from the middle of the floor, that's when we hurt them. But we didn't do it consistently enough."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Spurs, who also wasted a 10-point, 10-rebound effort from Kyle Anderson and a season-best 18 points from Ginobili.

The Spurs only found Aldridge for two field-goal attempts during a tight fourth quarter. Point guard Patty Mills, meanwhile, was 2-of-7 in the frame.

"Offensively, we were terrible," Ginobili said. "We forgot a little bit about L.A. We couldn't feed him. We should have used him way more."

To be fair, Green tried to feed Aldridge in the post with the Spurs down five. Milwaukee's John Henson jumped the pass for a steal.

The Spurs led by a point at halftime, despite 11 first-half turnovers.

They talked in the locker room about limiting them. The Bucks, meanwhile, talked about ramping up the defensive pressure to force more.

Advantage Milwaukee.

"We wish it would be like this every night," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said.

Gasol turned the ball over on the Spurs' first possession of the third quarter, leading to an Eric Bledsoe run-out dunk.

Green threw the ball out of bounds on the Spurs' next trip.

Popovich benched both players immediately.

On the Spurs' next possession, Ginobili had a pass picked up by Antetokounmpo, who took it the other way for a twirling one-handed dunk.

For a moment, it was easy to forget the Bucks entered the game ranked 29th in a 30-team league in defensive efficiency.

"They started to deny more," Ginobili said. "They started to pre-rotate and that got us into trouble. We adjusted and figured it out, but it was kind of late. They were already confident."

The Spurs' miscues fueled a 14-3 run for Milwaukee, which built a 70-56 lead the Spurs would spend the rest of the game unsuccessfully trying to erase.

They got within two on Ginobili's 3-point play with 2:26 remaining, then never scored again.

"We have a good opportunity with two minutes to go," Ginobili said. "Then it's a lottery."

The Spurs' number didn't come up. They had given the Bucks too many gifts already.

jmcdonald@express-news.net

Twitter: @JMcDonald_SAEN

Source : http://www.expressnews.com/sports/spurs/article/Turnovers-spell-doom-for-Spurs-win-streak-12349388.php

Turnovers spell doom for Spurs’ win streak
Niners Come Close to Breaking Losing Streak
NBA Power Rankings -- Our expert panel unveils its rankings for Week 6
Five turnovers spell doom for LHS against Tascosa
The Biggest Question Mark on Every NBA Team
Warriors Tonight: Why the Nuggets could spell trouble
Super Bowl 51 Pick: Atlanta Falcons look eerily similar to a past Black and Gold champion
The Golden State Warriors just put a giant hole in their critics' biggest argument
Big Ten victory key to Illini NCAA hopes
Pick 6 Preview | 6 things to watch as Seahawks close out regular season versus Rams