In their sole regular season visit to Fiserv Forum, the Bucks took care of the Golden State Warriors with ease, cruising to a 128-111 victory.
Golden State would find the first lead of the game, but the Bucks would rebound. The momentum shift followed a Jordan Poole technical foul, as Milwaukee catapulted themselves in the lead. Three pairs of seven points (from Khris Middleton, Jevon Carter, and Brook Lopez) along with eight off the bench from Bobby Portis helped the Bucks carry a 38-27 lead after one.
The Bucks leveraged their potent defense in the second, coming with a variety of blocks from a flurry of players. Giannis would start coming alive which presented a multitude of problems to the Warriors. A strong disparity in free throws (11 for the Bucks, two for Golden State) also assisted Milwaukee in mixing up a 64-52 halftime lead.
The third quarter would be CHIPPY. Referee Ray Acosta kept assessing players and coaches with technical fouls. Draymond Green even had a fan tossed. After all of the dust had settled and we headed into the fourth, Milwaukee had constructed a 95-77 advantage.
No matter how badly Golden State wanted to get back into this one, they simply couldn’t. They were in too deep of a hole, and the Bucks danced across the finish line with ease, putting the final touches on a 128-111 victory.
As you probably guessed, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee, posting a smooth 30 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. Khris Middleton chipped in with 20 points of his own, and Bobby Portis was explosive off the bench, totaling 25 points.
For the Warriors, Stephen Curry led the scoring, completing his efforts with 20 points. No other Warrior surpassed the 20 point mark.
The Bucks will now travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies.
Man, oh man...what a gritty, scrappy game.
I swear...we couldn’t go a minute without hearing a whistle! Referee Ray Acosta was all over the place, assessing technical fouls to each team back-and-forth. Following the game, I went to the Warriors locker room to see how the tone was over there, and Steve Kerr was not too happy. Here’s some of his tidbits:
Steve Kerr was not pleased with the officials during the game, as he was heated up and earned a technical. He still wasn't pleased with them in his postgame availability.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 14, 2022
"I was frustrated because if Steph gets a technical, then he definitely got fouled." pic.twitter.com/yQlQSti7BT
Kudos to the Bucks for not getting rattled. They showed their composure and were able to keep the ship going steady, putting the Warriors to bed with relative ease. Every time in the NBA, there’s multiple roadblocks that can disrupt the opportunity to win a game — and last night, the Bucks handled that challenge well.
Milwaukee did a magnificent job defensively.
We’re all aware as to how the Bucks sit near the top in multiple defensive categories, along with the various challenges that they pose opposing offenses — guards that act like pests, rim protection, and much more. Steve Kerr hit on all of those when talking about how the Bucks made life difficult for his guys. Here’s his full quote:
Checked out Golden State's postgame availability tonight. Here's what Steve Kerr had to say about how Milwaukee made it so difficult defensively on his guys -- starting with praise of Jevon Carter. pic.twitter.com/Xh17S602fw— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 14, 2022
This Bucks team is cruising nicely in terms of their defense, and will likely continue doing so. It’s definitely a joy to watch.
Speaking of Jevon Carter, he continues to impress.
With Jrue Holiday out, Carter was thrusted into the starting lineup and performed just as you’d expect — brilliantly with the firepower that he possesses. He didn’t exhibit much from the scoring end, tallying just four points. However, for the 28 minutes he played, he made life extremely difficult for Golden State with his on-ball defense, much like Jrue Holiday would’ve. In Milwaukee’s postgame availability, I asked Giannis his thoughts on what Jevon brought to the table:
With Jrue Holiday sidelined, it was imperative for Jevon Carter to step up -- and he did exactly that. I asked Giannis for his thoughts and he praised Carter's defensive efforts on Steph. pic.twitter.com/Vr6cQXv0lN— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 14, 2022
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Steph Curry continues to be a treat to watch in warm-ups:
- And so does Klay...
klay thompson effortlessly hitting eight threes in a row. he actually hit 14 in a row, but i missed the first six. just automatic. pic.twitter.com/U114e2w2ww— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 13, 2022
- Free throw disparity was heavily in the Bucks’ favor. They had 32 attempts to the Warriors’ 19, which definitely tipped things their way in helping to shift momentum.
- Bobby Portis continues to bring it off the bench. He’d post a very crafty 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting. It seemed that whenever a ball was rolling off the rim, Portis was there to tip it back in. He never ceases to bring it.
- The Bucks threw a block party last night. They definitely brought the fly swatters out, including a pair on Donte DiVincenzo (a chase-down block from Giannis and an athletic block from Pat Connaughton on a corner 3PA).
- Grayson Allen was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor, totaling 16 points on the evening. Two of those were 3-pointers.
- This game was loaded with Milwaukee connections, ranging from Kevon Looney to Jordan Poole to Patrick Baldwin, Jr. Really cool to see.
- There was some chaos in the third. First, there was a Giannis ten-second violation. Then, this happened:
Draymond had this fan ejected from the Bucks-Warriors game pic.twitter.com/hCN5pO7USH— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 14, 2022
In his postgame availability, Draymond Green said that the fan was threatening his life.
- How about this stat?
Giannis just earned the record of playing the most minutes ever in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform -- 22,098 of 'em.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 14, 2022
- Last, I’m ending this with a throwback. TJ Ford was at last night’s game! I can’t ever recall him being at a game. He was my first ever Bucks jersey.