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    Spurs take down Bucks for seventh straight win

    Jan 3, 2013
    Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs drives around John Henson of the Milwaukee Bucks. AP

    MILWAUKEE — Tim Duncan had 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, and the San Antonio Spurs used torrid first-half shooting to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 117-110 Wednesday night (Thursday, Manila time) for their seventh consecutive victory.

    Tony Parker added 23 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who shot 52 percent from the field for the game and withstood a second-half rally by the Bucks.

    Brandon Jennings paced Milwaukee with 31 points. Bucks rookie John Henson scored a career-high 20 points and added nine rebounds. Mike Dunleavy had 19 points.

    Duncan scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Spurs built a 33-22 lead while shooting 58.3 percent and outscoring the Bucks 11-0 on fast-break points. Milwaukee made just 36 percent of its shots from the field in the opening period.

    The Spurs extended the advantage to 69-52 at halftime behind 20 points from Duncan. The 69 points were the most given up by the Bucks in a half this season, topping the 58 points allowed by the team in the second half against the Spurs in a 110-99 loss in San Antonio on Dec. 9.

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    Henson had 10 second-quarter points for the Bucks, who won six of eight games at home during December before running into the hot-shooting Spurs in Milwaukee's first game of the new year.

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    The Bucks used a 13-3 run over the last 2:57 of the third quarter to cut San Antonio's lead to 93-81. The Bucks eventually cut the lead to 94-85 early in the fourth quarter before the Spurs began to pull away again.

    A 10-2 Bucks rally in the waning seconds of the game, which included a dunk by Henson, cut the Spurs' lead to as few as five points with 20 seconds remaining. A pair of free throws by Patty Mills with 12 seconds left sealed the victory.

    San Antonio ran its record to 19-1 this season when leading after three quarters.

    Notes: The first-half output by San Antonio matched the 69 points the team scored in the opening two quarters against Houston on Dec. 28. The Spurs scored 73 second-half points against Charlotte on Dec. 8. ... Spursguard Gary Neal returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing four consecutive games with a strained right calf. "He's a dangerous player. I'm really happy for him because he finally has an NBA career," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Neal, who played four seasons overseas before joining the Spurs in 2010. . Bucks guard Beno Udrih was inactive for the game after what Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles described as a "flare-up" of an ankle injury that kept him out of 12 games earlier this season. Udrih, who didn't practice Tuesday, played 17 minutes but didn't score in Milwaukee's previous game against Detroit on Sunday. . Duncan registered a blocked shot for the 20th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NBA. Milwaukee forward Larry Sanders, whom Duncan was matched up against, blocked a shot for the 17th game in a row, giving him the second-longest active streak.

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    Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs drives around John Henson of the Milwaukee Bucks. AP
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