Milwaukee Bucks crush Golden State Warriors, continue to ‘build good habits’ against elite teams

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks earned another statement Thursday night with a 118-99 win over the Golden State Warriors, continuing their trend of being at their best this season against other likely title contenders.

The Bucks bombarded the Warriors early on, jumping to a 39-point halftime lead, Golden State’s biggest halftime deficit since the franchise left Philadelphia.

Over the past week, the Bucks have won hands down against the Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets – who they also beat on opening night in Milwaukee – a pair of teams they could see on the path to attempt to repeat as NBA champions.

“I don’t know why we play well in big games, but at the end of the day, we just have to keep building good habits,” said Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 30 minutes. “Big games with great excitement or even games that nobody watches, nobody cares about, we have to keep building good habits, so we can be good in May and June.”

Milwaukee had coach Mike Budenholzer back on the sidelines after clearing health and safety protocols, but was playing without guard Jrue Holiday, its top perimeter defenseman, who missed his fourth straight game through injury. at the ankle. Still, the Bucks managed to contain Warriors star Stephen Curry with a stifling defensive effort.

Curry shot 4 of 11 in the game (2 of 6 of 3) for 12 points. He shot less than 50% from the field in eight straight games, the longest streak of his career, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Golden State finished 3 for 14 from the field with three turnovers and seven points when the Bucks sent a double team to Curry.

“Milwaukee are a good team. They obviously have championship DNA now,” Curry said, “and present challenges in terms of inside pressure and spacing. went wrong.”

The Warriors have lost four of their last five games overall and Curry is mired in one of the worst shooting slumps of his career, but they weren’t freaking out about their recent slip-up.

“To be honest, I’m not that worried,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “I know we just got our asses kicked. We’re just in a tough time in our season. It happens to every team, every year or so, with very few exceptions. We’re in a bit of a We played a team that was ready and played very well… And so we’re a little bit uncomfortable, and we just have to get back on track.

Golden State will face the Bulls in the second half of a straight game Friday night in Chicago. Klay Thompson, who scored 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting in 21 minutes, is not expected to play as the Warriors put him back in action after missing more than two years with injury.

The Bucks, meanwhile, continued to roll against some of the toughest competition in the league due to Antetokounmpo’s dominating performances.

On Thursday, Antetokounmpo finished a perfect 9-for-9 inside the restricted area with four dunks. He scored on four different main defenders (including 4v4 against Andre Iguodala) and had all seven of his wide-opening shots. Even when the Warriors forced him to pass, he consistently got the right read — the Bucks shot 11 of 16 (30 points) on passes from Antetokounmpo, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

“My mindset is that I have something that I’m going to take. I’m not going to guess it,” Antetokounmpo said. “If someone is wide open, I’ll try to deliver that ball to them. If I can’t, I’ll see what happens next. I always try to be in the moment. But having a state of assertive mind, an aggressive mindset, that’s how I start the game. That’s what I think in every possession.”

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