Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) is defended by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during Tue Apr 6, 2021 game at Chase Center in San Francisco (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors, losers of three straight games on the road, and 4-12 in their last 16 games, entered the contest against Milwaukee Bucks determined to turn things around. It was not going to be easy as the Bucks are the highest-scoring team in the NBA. However, their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo was sidelined with a sore knee. The Warriors took advantage of Antetokounmpo’s absence edging the Bucks 122-121 at Chase Center in San Francisco on Tuesday night.
The Warriors head coach wanted his team to do three things to win. The Warriors had to stop committing fouls. In the Atlanta game, the Hawks had 45 shots from the charity stripe. The second thing was to stop making turnovers. The Warriors committed 21 in one game, and they lost as a result.
The third thing was to play defense. The Warriors had played defense well earlier in the season, but the defense had gone south in the last 16 games. The lack of defense helped the Toronto Raptors send the Warriors down to their second worse loss ever.
In the game against the Bucks Tuesday night at Chase Center, the Warriors avenged Milwaukee’s blowout earlier in the season. The Bucks trounced the Warriors in the second game of the season. The Warriors had to find a way to win, and they did as they came back from a ten-point fourth-quarter deficit.
The Warriors got off to a good start early in the first quarter. The Warriors led 18-5 before Milwaukee got its offense untracked. The Bucks went on a 10-0 run to make it 18-15. Stephen Curry who finished with 41 points and Kent Bazemore paced the Warriors offense, and Golden State finished the first period with a slim two-point advantage 28-26.
The teams played a very competitive second quarter. The Warriors won by a point 25-24 to finish the first half leading 53-50. Curry and James Wiseman led the offense with 11 points each. Wiseman pulled down ten boards to have a double-double for the game. Jordan Poole, coming off the bench, added ten. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday were the high scorers for Milwaukee with 12 and 11.
Milwaukee put the pedal to the metal in the third quarter. With the Bucks leading 57-56, the guys from Milwaukee went on a 10-2 run to lead 67-58. Milwaukee led 80-68 and appeared to be cruising to victory. Curry had other thoughts. Curry started making threes, and he brought the Warriors to within five at the end of the third quarter, 89-83. Curry knocked down 19 points in the period.
Milwaukee behind Middleton and Holiday regained the ten-point lead 108-93. The Warriors were making baskets, but Milwaukee didn’t fold. With the score,113-103, Kelly Oubre knocked down a three. Milwaukee answered with a three of their own. Oubre hit another three to make it 116-109.
Curry made a two-pointer and a three to close the gap to two 116-114 with 2:16 to play. Milwaukee went ahead 117-114. Andrew Wiggins made a bucket to close the gap to one 117-116. With 1:26 left, Kent Bazemore put the Warriors in the lead 118-117.
The Warriors were on a 12-1 run. Curry made another basket to put the Warriors ahead 120-117. Milwaukee remained steadfast. They scored the next four points to regain the advantage 121-120 with 28 seconds left. On the next possession, the Bucks were double-teaming Curry.
The Bucks appeared to have stooped the Warriors. Kelly Oubre had other thoughts as he fought his way to the basket to score the bucket to give Golden State the lead 122-121 with 7.7 seconds left.
The Bucks called a timeout. They were inbounding the ball from the center of the court. With 7.7 seconds left, the Bucks had ample time to score the winning basket. Andrew Wiggins made the defensive play of the night. He blocked Khris Middleton’s shot, and the Warriors were able to snap their three-game losing streak.
Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors are 24-27 for the year. Milwaukee is 32-18.
Curry paced the Warriors with 41 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Curry was 14-for-21 from the floor, and he connected on five threes in ten tries. Kelly Oubre had 19 points and made four threes. Kent Bazemore had 18 points, and he connected on four three in four tries.
James Wiseman finished with 13 points and ten boards. Jordan Poole had ten, Wiggins nine, and one huge defensive gem to help save the win. Draymond Green had six points, five rebounds, and eight assists. Green fouled out with 2:08 left in the game. The Warriors shot 48% from the floor. They were 15-for-40 from downtown. On defense, the Warriors made six steals, five blocked shots, and forced 14 turnovers. The Warriors committed eleven.
Jrue Holiday finished with 29 points. He connected on four threes. Khris Middleton had 28. Jeff Teague had 15, and Bobby Portis had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Giannis’ younger brother Thanasis had ten.
The Warriors resume play Friday night when they host the Washington Wizards at the Chase Center. The game will start at 5 pm.