for this game

Late rally comes up short as Spurs fall to Bucks

Dec 31, 2008 - 5:48 AM By Brian Guerra PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- The Milwaukee Bucks put an end to the San Antonio Spurs' five-game winning streak by hanging on late for a 100-98 win Tuesday night at the AT&T Center.

After Roger Mason hit a 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds left in the game to cut the Bucks' lead to two, Richard Jefferson was called for a five-second violation while trying to inbound the ball from under his own basket.

Tim Duncan's driving layup missed the mark and Milwaukee grabbed the rebound and ran out the clock for the win.

"It was a bizarre last 10 seconds," Bucks guard Luke Ridnour said. "I don't think I've ever seen the five-second violation called in that situation, but I'm glad we came away with it."

When asked about the final sequence, Manu Ginobili deflected the question.

"You can't think about just that play. We made too many mistakes," Ginobili said.

Michael Redd led the Bucks with 25 points, Ridnour added 21 and Andrew Bogut contributed 20. The trio also combined for 29 of the team's 43 rebounds.

"It's definitely a big win. Anytime you get a win against a contender, it's a big win," Bogut said.

The Spurs began to put pressure on the Bucks late as Michael Finley hit a 3-pointer with 8:26 left in the fourth, and Tony Parker followed with a pair free throws to pull his team within one at 82-81.

Mason then hit a 3-pointer as the Spurs led 84-82, but Bogut answered with a layup.

Ginobili's steal then led to an emphatic one-handed fast-break dunk by Mason that gave the Spurs their biggest lead, 88-84, with 6:33 left in the game.

But the Bucks cut their deficit to one with a 3-pointer by Ridnour, and Bogut followed with a big two-handed dunk for an 89-88 lead they would not relinquish.

"(The Bucks) played aggressively and physically for 48 minutes," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We played for 24 minutes. We competed in the second half and got back in the game, but 24 minutes isn't enough."

With under two minutes left and the Bucks clinging to a 95-93 lead, Bogut stood tall and took a charge on Duncan and then contested his shot, causing Duncan to miss badly.

The Bucks had everything going early, shooting nearly 80 percent halfway through the first quarter. Milwaukee held a 31-26 lead heading into the second. Ten of the Bucks' first 17 points were dunks or layups.

"Anytime you get dunks and layups against San Antonio, you'll take it," Redd said. "Because it doesn't happen often."

Duncan, who led the Spurs with 22 points, converted a three-point play that tied the game at 39-39 midway through the second.

Milwaukee closed out the first half with two straight 3-pointers and held a 51-49 halftime lead. It almost had a third, but Ridnour's half-court shot at the buzzer was ruled no good.

Ridnour opened up the second half by scoring Milwaukee's first nine points and the Bucks eventually opened an 11-point lead.

San Antonio made a run in the final two minutes of the third, cutting that deficit to six points heading into the fourth.

Parker had 19 points and 10 assists while Michael Finley added 20 for San Antonio.

Milwaukee won both games against the Spurs last season and has completed the same feat this campaign.

"For some reason, we match up well with San Antonio," Redd said. "I don't know what it is."

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    Bucks 100, Spurs 98  FinalDec 31 6:23 AM

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