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Takeaways as Steph drops 41, Warriors stun Bucks with late comeback


The Warriors have had a few games stolen from them this season. They finally did the stealing on Tuesday night.

After trailing for nearly the entire game, the Warriors beat the Bucks 122-121 at Chase Center thanks to a 16-5 run to close the game. Stephen Curry was tremendous dropping 41 points, but the victory was a true collective effort, and one that was sorely needed to avoid a four game losing streak. Here are the takeaways:

Oubre’s free throws, Wiggins’ block seal wild finish

For a while it looked like one of the talking points of Tuesday night’s game would be how second-year man Jordan Poole outplayed both Warriors veteran wings. As fate would have it, both Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins played a major part in sealing the deal.

The comeback can be tracked to the 4:31 mark of the fourth quarter, with the Warriors down 113-103. A Jrue Holiday 3-pointer put the Bucks up 10, and it looked like the incredibly hot shooting of this Giannis-less Milwaukee squad was just going to be too much for Golden State.

But Oubre answered quickly with a three of his own, cutting the lead back to 7. Then Holiday made another tray at the other end. Then Oubre did the same, again, cutting the lead back to 7. From there, the Warriors took over.

Curry basically took over, scoring 7 of his game-high 41 in the game’s final three minutes. The final shot he hit put the Warriors up 120-117 with 1:06 remaining. Still, the Bucks clawed back. A pair of Kris Middleton (28 points) free throws cut the lead back to 1. Then an impressive block by Brook Lopez on a Kent Bazemore layup gave possession back to Milwaukee, who took the lead when Jrue Holiday snatched an offensive rebound off a missed 3-pointer by Pat Connaughton, leaving the Warriors down 121-120 with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

But it was Oubre (19 points) again who stepped up, grabbing an offensive rebound after Andrew Wiggins missed a wide open 3, then nailed both free throws despite shooting under 70 percent on the season.

Finally, it was Wiggins’ turn on the other end, blocking a potential game-winning shot from Middleton to salvage what was an otherwise abysmal performance from him (9 points, 4-of-15 shooting).

It was a win the Warriors sorely needed, and one they earned.

Wiseman finally has a good one

If it seems like good James Wiseman games have been few and far between since the All-Star break, well, that’s because they have. Wiseman scuffled mightily in the losses to the Heat and Raptors, the Warriors’ low point of the season coinciding with his own.

But Wiseman had a bit of a bounce back vs. the Hawks, which led to questions as to why Steve Kerr played him in only two stints at the beginning of each half. Wiseman got more of a run on Tuesday, 25 mins vs. 18 mins, and made the most of it with his best all-around performance in months.

Wiseman’s first half was especially impressive, which featured 11 points, 10 rebounds and an emphatic block. Here’s the compilation via Anthony Slater:

What was notable was Wiseman’s energy, especially on the glass. One of Wiseman’s biggest weaknesses up to this point has been his lack of aggressiveness, which is part of the reason he’s only notched double-digit rebounds twice before Tuesday night. Wiseman was good in all areas, he even had some nice defensive moments, but the energetic focus for all of his minutes was the most encouraging sign in this game.

Wiseman also looked comfortable once again working in the pick and roll with Jordan Poole, who was efficient, scoring 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Poole played well enough to be a part of the closing lineup, but his defense was too much of a liability vs. the red hot Bucks.

Steph and Bucks put on shooting clinic

Okay, enough burying the lede. The two biggest factors in this game was the shooting of Curry and the shooting of Milwaukee as a team. Curry was transcendent, dropping 41 in 38 minutes (14-of-21, 5-of-19 from 3) while being guarded by Holiday, one of the best defensive point guards in the league. Curry kept the Warriors in it, notably in the third quarter, when he was responsible for 19 of the team’s 30 points.

Then there was the Bucks, who were lights-out without their MVP. They shot 51.2% from the field and 43.8% from 3, while going an insane 10-of-14 from deep in the second half. In addition to Middleton’s 28, Bobby Portis added 13, new acquisition Jeff Teague scored 15, and Giannis’ brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, played the role of sparkplug, adding 10.

A story of this game wouldn’t be complete without mention of Kent Bazemore, who had an awesome bounce-back, scoring 18 points in 26 minutes, while going 4-of-4 from deep.

 

 

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