Does everyone remember the 24-1 shirts from last time around? The Warriors had the last laugh this year, as Golden State exorcised their demons in Milwaukee, holding off the late charge from the Bucks to grab the 124-121 win. The big three scorers were a big 2.5, with Stephen Curry’s shooting woes keeping the Bucks in the game as the Golden State couldn't pull away. In the end, it was defense that helped wrap up the victory (tough to believe in a game that had 245 made points), but a win is a win. We give you the quick recap:
Kerr not resting any of his roster on the back to back, even with the 3 in 5 days coming up. Would say this is a let-down game if we officially called the Bucks a bad team, but are they bad? With the Greek Freak, Jabari Parker and others, they have the tools to be really good, just haven't gotten there yet. Hot crowd for the road show that is the Warriors. No "24-1" shirts in the crowd, not even "10-3" shirts made up for this matchup.
The Bucks start out physical on defense — they took the tip from Delly on bodying and beating up Curry all night long. The teams would trade baskets to start, except the Bucks would tough shots where the Dubs had nothing but dunks. Give credit where due: this was the best quarter of Zaza Pachulia's time with the Warriors. Kevon Looney was the first big off the bench tonight, but was ineffective. Who is going to earn the minutes for the first big off the bench? Even with great Warriors D, couldn't stop best Bucks quarter of the year (21-5 run) on their way to two big runs and Bucks lead 37-28.
The teams would continue to trade runs, with the bench units going after each other as the game gets a bit chippy. Iggy was hot, finally finding his range from three. The fun battle: Giannis and KD trading amazing things. Such a high level game, including the Bucks taking advantage of every mistakes Golden State gave them. The Warriors stay in the game with pure effort — Zaza fighting for tips and put backs. The Warriors finally catch up as the Death Lineup takes the floor and KD goes nuclear hitting three straight threes. Even with the Bucks hitting close to 60% from the field, the Warriors still “skill” their way to a 69-66 lead.
The Warriors third quarter started promising — until Jabari Parker went knee to knee with KD and down goes our superstar. He would walk off the floor but nothing looked good about the play. Initially it looked like a football-like knee tear, but fans exhaled and un-clenched body parts when he returned to the floor after the time out. The Dubs hold the lead with three Klay threes. Who gets first big-off-the-bench minutes of the quarter? JAVALE!!! Warriors respond to McGee in the lineup with solid defense and spacing leading to big dunks to gain the Dubs biggest lead of the night. Bucks note: Jabari Parker looks great. Loved him out of college, and glad he's healthy again. Klay Thompson finishes with 18 in the quarter to help the Warriors push to a 103-92 lead.
The Bucks would start to crawl back in behind a Terry three and Giannis drive in transition in the open floor. The question in Warriors games this season is always “will the 2nd unit hold the fort until Steph and Draymond get back on the floor?” Tonight they did their job. The only thing keeping the game close: a cold Steph shooting night. The Bucks would crawl back into the game behind turnovers by the Warriors and the same aggression that had them dominating in the first quarter. Bucks down 4 at four-minute mark, down 3 at the three-minute mark, then down 2 at the two-minute mark to lock the game up late. The last two minutes would see the teams trading misses until the Bucks get the ball in their half with 10 seconds to go down two. The clincher: a Draymond defensive stonewall on Giannis while the Bucks were down two to get a steal on an inbounds pass to ice it. The game ends on a missed free throw and the Warriors escape to 124-121 win.
Garbage Time Notes
• That might have been Patrick McCaw’s worst game as a Warrior. Despite hitting threes, he had a few turnovers and did not look comfortable around the Bucks’ length on defense. He will remember this game, and should bounce back just fine
• McAdoo didn't look good against the Celtics. Looney looked bad against the Bucks. Who is winning those minutes off the bench? JAVALE!!! Give him the chance, Kerr!!
• The Warriors are allowing big runs to teams in the fourth quarter. Maybe his high-octane offense wears them down at the end of games? This was great practice for the team to grind on teams, as they hadn’t really had a threat like this all season. They came out looking less-than-stellar, with late turnovers and the luck of some Bucks misses when it counted. Lots to learn from this one before a touch match up Monday with the Pacers after the day off Sunday. Rest up, boys!