The Warriors avoided a home disappointment against the Bucks without Giannis.
The Golden State Warriors improved on their impressive record at Chase Center this season, beating 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 capitalize on an opportunity to face a tough opponent without their best player.
Milwaukee, with help from All-Defensive Team stalwart Jrue Holiday, held Steph Curry to just seven points in the first half. But Curry caught fire late in the game, scoring 20 points in the final minutes of the game and delivering a saving block on vacation 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 attacking player. Instead, 12 players between the two teams racked up double-digit points, with each team’s bench making vital contributions.
The Warriors took a 50-49 halftime lead and gained momentum early in the third quarter on a hot shooting streak from Klay Thompson. The Warriors had an injury scare in the third quarter when Green appeared to roll his ankle and limped towards the locker room. However, he returned to action a few minutes later, despite appearing to be playing less than 100% for the rest of the game.
The Bucks closed the gap with Thompson and Curry on the bench to close out the quarter, and the Warriors’ lead was down to 80-77 before the final 12 minutes of regulation. Both offenses took place during a dramatic fourth quarter that saw several changes ahead of the 10-6 minute mark.
Eventually, however, the Bucks capitalized on a few empty Warriors possessions to take an eight-point lead with five minutes left in regulation time. A return from Jordan Poole and a triple from Klay Thompson brought the Dubs within five, but three straight misses by Thompson and Curry allowed Joe Ingles to put Milwaukee ahead 105-97 with a transition three.
Donte DiVincenzo, Ingles and Curry knocked down three straight 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 on Middleton, who tried to drive on Thompson but fell and flipped him 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 a three to the face of Kevon Looney with 31.7 seconds left in regulation time.
The Warriors called timeout and crafted an inbounds play to get a quick layup. Green didn’t realize he was unwatched and returned the ball. Milwaukee just needed to hold onto the ball to make it a free throw contest, but Holiday lost the ball out of bounds.
With another chance, Curry dribbled across the floor with Je’von Carter in his face and knocked down a step back three to tie the game at 111 which eventually forced overtime.
Then he did it with the defense. Holiday drove the lane and he was denied by the Warriors’ baby-faced rim protector.
With 1.8 seconds to tie the score, the Warriors went to… Draymond Green. Much to the delight of Dillon Brooks, Green hit a three-pointer at the buzzer as fans at Chase Center and on Twitter shouted that Curry was wide open.
In overtime, it was all the Splash Brothers. After a jumper from Brook Lopez, Curry and Thompson each had 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 had 22 points. JaMychal Green added a 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 former team, finishing with 20 points and ten rebounds. After a big hit, a Mic’d Up Brook Lopez informed the ABC audience that “Donte, that ain’t cute anymore!”
For Milwaukee, Warriors Killer Joe Ingles hit five threes, Giannis backup Bobby Portis had 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 the day off before hosting the Phoenix Suns on Monday at 7:00 p.m. PT.