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Recap | Bucks 110, Warriors 115: Curry, Thompson help Golden State edge Milwaukee

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Seven Bucks players scored in double figures, but Milwaukee couldn't corral Golden State's star backcourt in a 115-110 loss in Oakland. Stephen Curry led all scorers with 31 points on just 14 shots, while Klay Thompson added 29. David Lee recorded his 21st 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 27 points and 6 assists (9-16 FG), using his speed and athleticism to get into the paint almost at will. Ramon Sessions similarly exploited the Warrior defense inside to add 18 points off the bench, while John Henson had 13. Four different Bucks scored 11 points, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, who also grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds.

Despite the sensational scoring of Curry and Thompson, the Bucks kept the contest close for most of the night, They trailed by just two points at halftime, and by only three with about a minute remaining in the game after Ersan Ilyasova completed a three-point play. But Golden State had an answer every time the Bucks threatened, and with 38 seconds left Thompson drilled a three-pointer to make it a six-point game. The Bucks didn't score again until Giannis sank one of two free throws with three seconds remaining.

On the truly disappointing front, Nate Wolters suffered a broken left hand in the first half which will likely end his season. Nonetheless, it was a surprisingly solid debut year for the 38th overall pick who entered the game averaging 7.3 points and 3.3 assists in over 22 minutes per game. Wolters' size made it easier to start him next to Knight with Sessions coming off the bench, but there isn't another obvious combination that would seem logical. O.J. Mayo might get pressed into service in Wolters' absence, or the Bucks could try slotting in a D-League player as a stopgap.

Notes/Observations:

  • Antetokounmpo played his best game in weeks, getting extra burn in Wolters' absence (Middleton shifted to SG to start the 3rd quarter while Giannis took over the 3-spot) and defending everyone from Jordan Crawford to Klay Thompson to Harrison Barnes. His energy level still isn't quite on par with the early season, but he sank an early jumper after the Warriors sunk back on a P&R and generally took advantage of an occasionally sluggish Warriors defense with his ball handling and passing. Giannis finished with 4 assists and set up a few more good shots that his teammates missed.
  • Brandon Knight blew past David Lee on his way to the basket a couple of times, a fair reminder that Knight is fast and strong and Lee is large and slow. Knight looked especially quick with his left-leaning eurostep move into the paint after a righty drive.
  • You know how the other night Khris Middleton started off poorly but managed to salvage a nice game by continuing to take good shots and contributing elsewhere? This was kind of the opposite, where Middleton hit a couple catch-and-shoot jumpers early, did some damage, then continued to shoot himself into 11 points on 14 shots.
  • The Bucks only attempted 12 threes against the Warriors, which is always going to annoy a few of us authors. In fairness, the Bucks found limited resistance on the perimeter for much of the night and chose to attack the basket repeatedly, which paid off in the form of 39 free-throw attempts. Brandon Knight (8-12) and Ramon Sessions (7-8) accounted for more than half of Milwaukee's total as a pair.
  • John Henson recorded Milwaukee's only blocked shot on the night. The Bucks averaged 5.4 blocked shots in their first 52 games this season. Since then they're averaging 3.8.