San Francisco – Kelly Oubre Jr. made both free throws to give the Warriors a one point lead with 7.7 left on the clock. A crucial blocked shot by Andrew Wiggins in the final seconds saved the Milwaukee Bucks from making the final shot. Golden State’s 122-121 victory over the Bucks was a big win tonight.
“We needed a win badly and to come back from 12 down in the second half against a great team, ‘yes this qualifies as a helluva win’,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “Very proud of the guys, they really battled and we got a lot great individual performances.”
Golden State came off a long stretch of losing their last of 7-of-8 games. This was a much needed win against the highest scoring team in the lead. Milwaukee is very comfortable behind the arc and proved that tonight without their All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo who was ruled out due to knee soreness.
Kris Middleton finished with 28 points and Jrue Holiday added 29 points. The Warriors were down by 12 points late in the fourth and never gave up on the ball. They had a 120-117 lead over the Bucks, Middleton made both shots at the stripe to make it a 119-120 game. Holiday made a layup and Oubre was fouled on the other end. After making both shots, Oubre gave Golden State a one point lead.
But it was Wiggins blocked shot on Middleton’s 3-point attempt that left Milwaukee scrambling for the rebound in the final seconds. Pat Connaughton grabbed the rebound and missed a jump shot as the clock expired giving the Warriors their first victory in weeks. Curry finished with 41 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He recored his fourth 40-point game of the season (42nd career).
“Pretty clear the rough road we’ve been on,”Curry said. “Its good we had a close game even though we were down in the fourth, we had an opportunity to claw out a win especially when they’re hitting shots all over the place in the fourth.
Kelly hit some huge shots to keep us close, Baze was amazing all over the court tonight, a good contribution from everyone on the floor and defending to get enough stops to seal the deal.”
Draymond Green fouled out of the game. He had four fouls in the third and sat out much of the quarter. Green finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, one block and 8 assists. The Bucks were hard to stop in the third. Middleton scored 13 points in the quarter while Brook Lopez dominated in the paint, fighting off defenders everywhere.
Curry added 19 points in the quarter of his 30 points to end the third down 89-83. Bazemore continued to hit 3s staying close behind Milwaukee. Bazemore finished with 18 points and went 4-for-4 from the 3-point line. The Bucks had to their biggest lead while up by ten points. Wiggins had a horrible night of shooting going 1-for-8 from the field.
“It feels good to get wins especially against quality opponents,” said Kent Bazemore. “Even thought they didn’t have Giannis they still got a bunch of guys with a ton of experience. They took us down to the wire, they kind of got a little separation in the third. We stayed with it and kept our spirits up.”
The Warriors got off to a great start, all five starters got on the board early and committed no fouls. As a team for the night, Golden State jumped out to a 13-3 lead at the 9:30 mark. But Middleton got hot and helped cut the lead down to 3 points. The Bucks went on an 11-5 run to end the first 28-26.
Milwaukee tied the game 28-28 Jeff Teague’s free throw gave the Bucks their first lead 33-30. Holiday and Curry made it interesting exchanging shots but Jordan Poole added 10 points in 10 minutes off the bench that helped the Warriors stay ahead.
Curry finished with 11 points and James Wiseman finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds to end the half 53-50. Wiseman has his third career double-double. Golden State had the edge at the half due to Wiseman’s aggressiveness on defense. The Warriors defense kept Milwaukee off the 3-point line in the first half forcing them to shoot 4-15 from the arc.
“That was my goal, I had the energy and the focus, and went out there and did my job,” Wiseman said regarding his night on defense. “I watched a lot of film and that was my game plan. Working hard and playing smart was the key tonight.
When asked how much fun did Wiseman have in the first half, his response was ‘that sh*t was fun as hell!’ Excuse my language.”
Curry missed a few games after falling on his tailbone, but looked back to his normal self playing aggressively on offense. He fell on his tailbone tonight but continued play. Curry was asked about how he felt after the game.
“It only hurts if I fall on it,” said Curry. “The majority of the game I didn’t pay much attention to it until I landed on it. I did hurt but no damage really done.”
“Honestly, I’m enjoying the night,” Curry explained. “You could see a lot of emotion tonight from everybody, we all knew how much we needed this, and you want to maintain that joy and energy. Hopefully come Friday, Saturday put together two really good performances and give yourself a chance to win and sustain that.”
Golden State will get two nights off before they host Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards on Friday night at Chase Center.
Photo by Warriors/Twitter
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