Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who leads the team in points, rebounds and blocks per game, sat out Milwaukee's 118-105 win at Chicago on Friday night as they avoided a third straight loss.
Antetokounmpo sprained his ankle in Tuesday night's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, but he was not needed against the lowly Bulls as Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points to lead an impressive bench effort that featured four reserves reaching double figures and totaling 70 points. Jabari Parker, who started in Antetokounmpo's place, totaled six points, four assists and three rebounds in 30 minutes.
The Bucks (38-34) are one-half game behind Miami for seventh in the Eastern Conference but are comfortably inside the top eight as they lead the Detroit Pistons by six games with ten to play.
Two weeks ago, there was talk San Antonio (43-30) would both miss the playoffs and not have a winning record for the first time in 21 years. The Spurs have taken care of the latter as they enter this contest on a six-game winning streak, which has helped the cause of the former as they have climbed to sixth place in the Western Conference.
They entered play Saturday just 1.5 games behind third-place Portland and moved two games clear of eighth-place Utah following Friday night's 124-120 overtime win over the Jazz that completed a sweep of their six-game home stand.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 45 points for San Antonio, hitting 19 of 28 shots as he wrapped up those six wins in San Antonio totaling 32.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while shooting a blistering 57.6 percent. The surge coincides with the decision by coach Gregg Popovich to move Aldridge to center and go with a smaller, quicker lineup and moving veteran pivot Pau Gasol to the bench.