Milwaukee – The Milwaukee Bucks threw another win Thursday night with a 118-99 victory over the Golden State Warriors, and they continued their trend of being at their best this season when they faced other potential title contenders.
The Bucks defeated the Warriors right from the start, jumping to a 39-point lead in the first inning, the biggest first-half deficit for Golden State since the franchise moved out of Philadelphia.
Last week, the Bucks easily won against the Warriors and Brooklyn Nets – who also beat them on opening night in Milwaukee – two teams they could see on their way to trying to replicate the NBA championship.
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished the game with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 30 minutes, said. “Big games with big excitement or even games that no one watches, no one cares about, we have to keep building good habits, so that we can be good in May and June.”
Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer returned to the touchline after vacating health and safety protocols, but was playing without goalkeeper Jrue Holiday, the ocean’s best defender, who missed his fourth game in a row with his ankle. However, the Bucks managed to contain Warriors star Stephen Curry with a stifling defensive effort.
Curry was 4 of 11 shots in the game (2 for 6 of 3) for 12 points. He’s hit less than 50% from the field in eight straight games, the longest streak of his career, according to ESPN Stats and Information Research. Golden State finished 3-for-14 off the field with three turnovers and seven points when the Bucks sent a double team at Curry.
“Milwaukee is a good team,” Curry said. “They obviously have DNA for the championship now, and they’re presenting some challenges in terms of pressure on the inner end and spacing. We just got off to a terrible start where everything went wrong.”
The Warriors dropped four of their past five games overall, and Curry was mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, but they weren’t afraid of the last slip.
“Honestly I’m not worried,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the match. “I know we just got kicked butts. We’re just in a tough spot in our season. It happens to every team, pretty much every year, with very few exceptions. We’re in a little trouble. We played a team that was ready and playing great… and so we ran out a bit, and we just have to get back on track. “
Golden State will play the Bulls in the second half of a back-to-back game Friday night in Chicago. Klay Thompson, who scored 11 points on 3 from 11 shots in 21 minutes, is not expected to play because the Warriors are easing him back into action after missing out for more than two years due to injuries.
Meanwhile, the Bucks continued to face some of the league’s strongest opponents due to a dominant performance by Antetokounmpo.
On Thursday, Antetokounmpo finished perfect 9-for-9 inside the restricted area with four dunks. He scored on four different starting defenders, (including 4 vs 4 against Andre Iguodala) and hit all seven of his wide open shots. Even when the Warriors forced him to pass, he routinely made the correct reading — the Bucks made 11 of 16 (30 points) from Antetokounmpo’s passes, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
“My mentality is, I have something to do. I won’t object to that,” said Antetokonmo. “If someone is wide open, I’ll try to send that ball to them. And if I can’t, I’ll see what’s next. I always try to be in the moment. But having an assertive mindset and an aggressive mindset, that’s how I start the game. That’s what I believe in every possession” .