Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/20

Game 1: Tuesday, December 20th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 18th

Bucks 92

(19-18, 9-10 away)

Spurs 95

(30-9, 19-2 home)

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, January 18, 2006

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 20 20 27 2592
    SA 20 21 28 2695

    Top Performers

    Mil: M. Redd 26 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    SA: T. Duncan 27 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Finley comes through in clutch as Spurs top Bucks

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- San Antonio Spurs guard Michael Finley felt less pressure coming off the bench then starting. And it showed in the final three minutes of the game.

    He hit two straight 3-pointers and then made four free throws in the closing seconds to hold off the Milwaukee Bucks 95-92 Wednesday night.

    "I am my biggest critic, so I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to make the perfect pass or hit all of my jumpers," said Finley, who was replaced last week by Manu Ginobili in the starting lineup. "I am just trying to make the game come to me right now."

    Finley matched his season high with 21. Tim Duncan scored 27 points and Tony Parker added 18 and seven assists for the Spurs, who have won nine of their last 10.

    Michael Redd scored 26 points while Maurice Williams had 18 for the Bucks, who have lost seven of their last nine games to drop to one game over .500.

    The game gave Spurs coach Gregg Popovich more confidence that recent roster moves and game substitutions were working.

    "Everybody is more organized and feels comfortable," he said. "They have a better idea of when they are coming into the game and how long they will play."

    The game was tied 18 times, including at the conclusion of the first quarter at 20. In the second, Williams scored eight consecutive points to pace the Bucks and give them a four-point lead. But a Brent Barry runner in the lane tied it at 35 with 3:25 left and Duncan reasserted his presence inside with six points to give the Spurs a 41-40 edge at halftime.

    The Spurs went 15-of-37 in the first half and were outscored on the fast break 10-2. But they took a nine-point lead with 5:18 left in the third after Ginobili scored seven straight points, including a basket off an acrobatic alley-oop pass from Parker.

    Andrew Bogut finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which had a chance to tie it in the final seconds but T.J. Ford missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

    "He got a clean look," said Bucks head coach Terry Stotts. "It looked like it was going in from our angle. It's just tough. There were just a couple of plays down the stretch that could have gone our way, and they just didn't. ...That might be the best we've played all year from start to finish."

    Still, their defensive work on the defending champions left the Bucks with optimism their recent slump will subside soon.

    "I thought our defensive effort was the best it's been all season," Ford said. "If we can continue that kind of effort every night, we'll get some games. But I thought we played well against the best team in the NBA, and it came down to the last shot." ^Notes:@ Charlie Bell (knee sprain), Joe Smith (knee contusion) and Ersan Ilyasova did not play for the Bucks. ... Robert Horry (lower abdominal strain) and Sean Marks (ankle sprain) did not play for the Spurs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 95
    FGM-FGA 38-76 (.500) 32-70 (.457)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 6-17 (.353)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 25-32 (.781)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-39 5-34
    Assists 17 22
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 7 5
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 20 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (2/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 4 9

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 26
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 27
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1