ORACLE ARENA — Fact. The Bucks are the worst team in the NBA.
Fact. Anything less than a blowout victory for the Warriors would be down right embarrassing.
So what in the world was going on at Oracle on Thursday?
The Warriors won 115-110, sure. But Milwaukee was right there, knocking on the door, and even leading at times.
After the game, coach Mark Jackson said he wouldn’t nitpick. When SFBay asked if he thought his team won the in the right fashion, he dodged the question:
“I’m pleased with the fact that, we used to leave this building upset that we gave one away, so I’m not going to lose sight of us leaving here with a win. We put another check mark in the ‘W’ column.”
Midway through the third quarter Milwaukee had the advantage 66-65 when Brandon Knight drove in for a reverse lay-up.
The sellout crowd known as “Roaracle” were complacent and up to that point seemed uninterested, until they were awakened by a dunk from Klay Thompson with just over four minutes left in the frame.
After a sluggish start by the Warriors — visibly not playing as well as they could — the Bucks were able to tie the game three times and cut Golden State’s lead to just three points in the game’s final seconds.
David Lee finished the night with 22 points and 12 rebounds, but did not share his coach’s sentiments about the win.
When SFBay asked if it was the right way to win the game he answered:
“No. Absolutely not. I wasn’t thrilled with the way we played. The most important thing is we were able to get a victory tonight … But it wasn’t our best game.”
On a night when the Warriors starters were expected to be enjoying most of the game from the bench — getting much needed rest with iced draped on their limb — they were instead forced to play heavy minutes and carry the game.
Lee (22 points), Stephen Curry (31 points), and Klay Thompson (29 points) accounted for 82 of the Warriors’ 115 points. All needed to play more than 36 minutes as the Bucks battled to stay in the game.
Knight, the leading scorer for Milwaukee with 27 points, said he loves basketball and has pride in what he does. So, despite his team’s record, he continues to give it everything he has:
“If this is the first game or the 72nd game, no matter what our record is, your job is to play hard. It is a privilege to play this game, it is not deserved.”
The Warriors, now 44-26 overall, face the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday in their third of a five-game home stand.
For the first time in 20 years, the Warriors are 18 games above .500. … The Bucks’ bench outscored the Warriors’ bench 53-25, with all four Milwaukee reserves that entered the game finishing in double figures. … The Warriors are now 13-4 since the All-Star Break, winning eight of their last 10 games, including their last three. … Stephen Curry finished with 31 points and 11 assists for his 12th career 30-point/10-assist game and league-leading seventh such game this season.