The Golden State Warriors improved upon their impressive record at the Chase Center this season, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 125-116 in overtime on Saturday night. With Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo out with a right-hand injury, the Dubs made sure to take advantage of an opportunity to face a difficult opponent without their best player.
Milwaukee, with the help of All-Defensive Team stalwart Jrue Holiday, held Steph Curry to just seven first-half points. But Curry caught fire at the end of the game, scoring 20 points in the game’s final minutes and delivering a game-saving block on Holiday at the end of regulation.
In a defensive battle, both teams struggled to generate open shots early in the game. More than five minutes into the first quarter, the score was still tied at 4. Things slowly opened up for both offenses, but neither team was led by a single excellent offensive performer. Instead, 12 players between both teams racked up double-digit points with each team’s bench providing some vital contributions.
The Warriors took a 50-49 lead at the half and built some momentum early in the third quarter thanks to a hot shooting stretch from Klay Thompson. The Warriors had an injury scare in the third quarter when Green appeared to roll his ankle and limped to the locker room. However, he returned to the action just a few minutes later, although he did appear to be playing at less than 100% for the rest of the game.
The Bucks closed the gap with Thompson and Curry on the bench to close the quarter, and the Warriors lead was down to 80-77 heading into the final 12 minutes of regulation. Both offenses got rolling in a dramatic fourth quarter that saw several lead changes from the 10-6 minute mark.
Eventually, though, the Bucks capitalized on a couple of empty Warriors possessions to take an eight-point lead with five minutes left in regulation. A Jordan Poole putback and Klay Thompson triple brought the Dubs within five, but back-to-back missed threes by Thompson and Curry allowed Joe Ingles to put Milwaukee ahead 105-97 with a transition three.
Donte DiVincenzo, Ingles, and Curry knocked down threes on back-to-back-to-back possessions, and the Bucks led 108-103 with 90 seconds remaining. The Warriors were able to stop the Bucks and get Curry an open three from the right corner, he didn’t miss.
Leading 108-106, the Bucks turned to Middleton, who tried to drive in on Thompson but fell down and turned it over. Curry led the charge in transition to tie the game with a layup.
This time, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday didn’t give up the ball and knocked down a three in Kevon Looney’s face with 31.7 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Warriors called timeout and drew up an in-bounds play to get a quick layup. Green didn’t realize he was unguarded and turned the ball over. Milwaukee just needed to hold onto possession to make it a free-throw shooting contest, but Holiday lost the ball out of bounds.
With another chance, Curry dribbled up the floor with Je’von Carter in his face and knocked down a stepback three to tie the game at 111 that ultimately forced overtime.
Then, he did it with defense. Holiday drove the lane and he was denied by the Warriors’ baby-faced rim protector.
STEPHEN CURRY GAME SAVING BLOCK AT THE RIM pic.twitter.com/SzpqCIiVWm— Alex (@Dubs408) March 12, 2023
With 1.8 seconds to tie the score, the Warriors went to...Draymond Green. To Dillon Brooks’ delight, Green bricked a three-pointer at the buzzer while the fans at the Chase Center and on Twitter screamed that Curry was wide open.
In overtime, it was all Splash Brothers. After a Brook Lopez jumper, Curry and Thompson each hit two shots in a 9-0 Splash run. Curry outscored the Bucks 9-5 in the extra period.
Curry led the Warriors with 36 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Thompson was efficient, shooting 8-for-16 from the field, and poured in 22 points. JaMychal Green added some much-needed offensive punch for the Warriors off the bench. Green scored a season-high 18 points. Donte DiVincenzo also added six big threes against his old team, finishing with 20 points and ten rebounds. After one big shot, a Mic’d Up Brook Lopez informed the ABC audience that “Donte, it’s not cute anymore!”
For Milwaukee, Warriors Killer Joe Ingles hit five threes, Giannis replacement Bobby Portis put up 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Holiday had 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists - but with 6 turnovers.
The Warriors will stay home and have one day off before they host the Phoenix Suns on Monday at 7:00 PM Pacific.