Mike Budenholzer: Bucks will treat Spurs rout as learning experience

SAN ANTONIO -- Outside of the visitors locker room at AT&T Center, a scrum of reporters with cameras and microphones huddled around coach Mike Budenholzer to swarm him with questions about Milwaukee's 126-104 loss to San Antonio.

Even after suffering the largest regular-season loss of his Bucks tenure on Monday, the sideline leader defended his team's effort.

"I mean there's no doubt that [DeMar] DeRozan and a few of the other guys made some tough kind of pull-up 2s, midrange, some tough floaters and then they had the 3-ball going, too, so they kinda had everything," Budenholzer said. "I probably could've done a better job at coaching, maybe adjusted earlier, quicker, so I think I need to be better but like I said, we'll learn from it and hopefully we'll be better going forward."

Including the postseason, it was Milwaukee's largest margin of defeat since Game 1 of last season's Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston, after which the Bucks went on to win four straight.

Their latest defeat kicks off a four-game West Coast road trip with Golden State, Sacramento and Portland next on the schedule.

Prior to today, the Bucks (32-6) had dropped only two games this season by double digits, both of which were on the road (11 points at Boston in October, 12 points at Philadelphia on Christmas).

"At the end of the day, we're sitting in a good place right now," Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe said. "This one is out the window. We can't focus on it because it kind of takes me back to the Toronto series when we lost, so we've just got to move on and get prepared for Golden State."

Milwaukee was held to just 40% shooting while the Spurs were hot, shooting 51.1% from the field and 54.3% from 3. Members of the Bucks don't necessarily notice any troubling road trends but more so a fundamental element that they lacked in their road losses.

"If you look at those games, I believe they shot the ball extremely well and we shot the ball poorly," said Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo, who added 16 points off the bench. "So, I think we have to have a little bit more focus, but it's a long season and we'll lock in and get used to being on the road."

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists but called it "big" for his coach to defend the team in his comments. The Eastern Conference's top team was already mentally pushing forward before exiting the San Antonio arena.

"Having a guy like Coach Bud to come out and say, 'Oh, it's my fault. I could've did a better job' and having guys in this locker room to say, 'It's one game, we didn't play well. It's our fault, we've got to do a better job,' that's big instead of us just making excuses," Antetokounmpo said.

"That's why this team is great," he continued. "That's why we're going to keep getting better and we're going to win more games."