The Warriors avoided a loss at home against the Bucks without Giannis.
The Golden State Warriors improved on their impressive record at the Chase Center this season, defeating Milwaukee Bucks 125-116 in overtime Saturday night. With Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined with a right hand injury, the Dubs made sure to take advantage of the opportunity to face a tough opponent without their best player.
Milwaukee held Steph Curry to just seven points in the first half with the help of a steadfast Jrue Holiday. But Curry caught fire late in the game, scoring 20 points in the final minutes of the game and saving a block on the break at the end of regulation.
In a defensive battle, both teams struggled to create open shots early in the game. More than five minutes into the first quarter, the score was still tied at 4. Things were slowly opening up for both offenses, but neither team was being led by either great forward. Instead, 12 players from both teams scored in double figures, and each team’s bench made vital contributions.
The Warriors led 50-49 at halftime and built some momentum early in the third quarter thanks to Klay Thompson’s hot shooting. The Warriors had an injury scare in the third quarter when Green appeared to turn his ankle and limp to the locker room. However, he returned to action just a few minutes later, although he appeared to be playing less than 100% by the end of the game.
The Bucks closed the gap with Thompson and Curry on the bench to close the quarter, and the Warriors’ lead fell to 80-77 with 12 minutes remaining in regulation. Both offenses got going in a dramatic fourth quarter that saw several lead changes at the 10-6 minute mark.
However, in the end, the Bucks took advantage of several empty possessions by the Warriors and took an eight-point lead with five minutes left in regulation. Jordan Poole’s layup and Klay Thompson’s 3-pointer put the Dubs within five, but back-to-back missed 3-pointers by Thompson and Curry allowed Joe Ingles to give Milwaukee a 105-97 transition 3-pointer.
Donte DiVincenzo, Ingles and Curry knocked down 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, and the Bucks led 108-103 with 90 seconds left. The Warriors were able to stop the Bucks and get Curry an open three-pointer from the right corner, he didn’t miss.
Leading 108-106, the Bucks turned to Middleton, who tried to hit Thompson but fell and knocked him over. Curry led the charge in transition and tied the game with a layup.
This time, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday didn’t let the ball go and knocked down a 3-pointer in Kevon Looney’s face with 31.7 seconds left in regulation.
The Warriors called a timeout and made 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 keep possession to make it a free throw contest, but Holiday lost the ball out of bounds.
With another opportunity, Curry dribbled down the floor with Je’von Carter in his face and knocked down a step-back three to tie the game at 111, ultimately forcing overtime.
Then he did it defensively. Holiday drove down the lane and was stopped by the Warriors’ baby-faced rim protector.
With 1.8 seconds left to tie the game, the Warriors went to…Draymond Green. To the delight of Dillon Brooks, Green hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer as 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 overtime.
Curry led the Warriors with 36 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Thompson was efficient, shooting 8 for 16 from the field and scoring 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 3-pointers against his old team, finishing with 20 points and ten rebounds. After one big hit, Mic’d Up Brook Lopez informed the ABC audience that “Donte, he’s not cute anymore!”
For Milwaukee, Warriors Killer Joe Ingles hit five three-pointers, Giannis’ replacement Bobby Portis added 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Holiday had 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists – but with 6 turnovers.
The Warriors will stay at home and have one day off before hosting Phoenix Suns on Monday at 19:00 Pacific.