The Golden State Warriors could finally start firing on all cylinders again. Hosting the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, the Dubs outscored the defending champions in a blowout 122-109 win.
Both teams struggled to score early. Shooting less than 40% from the field in the first quarter, they found themselves 28 without a double-digit scorer. However, the Bucks’ defensive strategy set the stage for an explosive run from Klay Thompson. Milwaukee was hyper-focused on keeping the ball out of the hands of Stephen Curry in an even more aggressive defense than usual from Warrior’s opponents. Taking advantage of the extra space to operate, Thompson knocked down back-to-back jumpers late in the first quarter.
Few NBA players can warm up as quickly as Klay. With a few baskets to close out the first quarter, Thompson was rolling even after Curry went to the bench early in the second. Thompson had one of his best offensive bursts since returning, scoring 17 points in the second quarter alongside solid offensive production from Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins.
Curry struggled to deal with the continued defensive pressure from the Bucks when he returned to action, but the other Warriors more than picked up the slack. Curry entered the half with just 5 points on 3 field goal attempts but had 2 turnovers (and easily could have had more). Despite these struggles, the Dubs led 67-58 behind Thompson’s 21 points, Poole’s 16 and Wiggins’ 13 points.
Coming out of halftime, Poole scored 11 of the Warriors’ first 13 points and led Golden State as they extended their lead to 20 points behind a 13-2 run to start the second half. As Milwaukee continued to grab Curry, the other Dubs scorers continued to charge them early in the second half. Halfway through the third quarter, Wiggins, Poole and Thompson had all scored at least 20 points.
Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson each have at least 20 points in the same game for the first time since…
-Marc Delucchi (@maddelucchi) March 13, 2022
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo got a little help from Jevon Carter to help cut Golden State’s lead. However, as soon as Milwaukee cut the lead to 12, Thompson responded with a three to cut the lead back to 15. After that, the Bucks weren’t within a dozen points until garbage time. . Antetokounmpo finished with 31 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Thompson remained scorching to start the fourth quarter and it was all down to whether he could score 40 points in the game. Three minutes from the end of regulation time, the two teams withdrew their starters.
Curry finished with just 8 points, 8 assists and 4 turnovers on 3-for-7 shooting from the field, but his impact was felt by the spacing his teammates took advantage of all night. Thompson was the best he had been since returning, recording 38 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a +27 over/under record.
Poole had 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Wiggins, who recently had a protracted slump, was 8 for 16 from the field with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Off the bench, Jonathan Kuminga recorded the first double-double of his career with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
After their victory tonight, Golden State is back tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the second seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors will have the day off before hosting the Washington Wizards on Monday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Barring an unforeseen setback, the Warriors should finally welcome Draymond Green to the field after missing the last 30 games with a back injury.
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