San Antonio (USA), May 10 (EFE) .- Forward DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and the San Antonio Spurs set a franchise record for points in the first half while achieving a 146-125 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, who snapped a five-game winning streak.
San Antonio set a season and team record for points with 87 first-half points, the second-most the club has scored in either half.
The Spurs tied their mark in either half with 12 3-pointers in the first and were 17 of 29 from outside the perimeter.
Point guard Dejounte Murray added 21 points, forward Keldon Johnson and Australian point guard Patty Mills each had 20 and power forward Rudy Gay scored 19 points for San Antonio. Mills and Gay combined with 9 3-pointers from 15 attempts.
Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece scored 28 points on 11 of 16 shooting. Khris Middleton added another 23 points and point guard Jrue Holiday had 20 points.
Milwaukee (43-25) lost a great opportunity to have caught up with the Brooklyn Nets (44-24) in second place in the Eastern Conference, where they remain third.
San Antonio’s magic number to secure a place in the entry tournament was reduced to two over the New Orleans Pelicans, who lost 115-110 on the road to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, and are eleventh in the Western Conference.
The Spurs can secure a second consecutive place in the entry tournament with any combination of the Pelicans’ wins and losses that equals two.
San Antonio had lost six of seven going into Monday’s game, but got off to a historic start against Milwaukee.
The Spurs had a season-high 45 points in the first quarter, which was also the fourth-highest total in franchise history, and they followed with the most points in team history during the first half.
The San Antonio team achieved 67 percent shooting from the field and 3-pointers in the first half.
Murray scored nine points in the first five minutes on a series of attacks and short shots, but it was the Spurs’ outside shot that had the biggest impact.
The Spurs opened a 65-47 lead with seven minutes to go in the first half on Gay’s triple off a Murray steal. San Antonio extended its lead to 23 points two minutes later with a triple by Mills.
San Antonio’s highest-scoring first quarter and previous first-half record came against the Denver Nuggets.
The Spurs scored 47 points in the first quarter against the Nuggets in 1993 and 84 points in the first half against the Denver team in 1984.
San Antonio’s most prolific half was also against Denver, when the Spurs scored 91 points against the Nuggets in the second half in 1984.
The Spurs close the last week of the regular season with five games in seven days that began this Monday at home against Milwaukee and closing with two games also at the AT&T Center in San Antonio against the Phoenix Suns.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expressed his best wishes to NBA referee Tony Brown, who will miss the rest of the regular season and postseason while undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last month.
Brown has refereed 1,109 regular season games and 35 playoffs in 19 seasons.
“He’s a true first-class person and professional,” Popovich said. “You feel bad for someone and his family when something like this happens. We only wish him the best and hope that the people (who take care of him) find out all the best that can be done.”
(c) EFE Agency