With their postseason goals quickly becoming a speck in the distance, the Warriors called for a comeback in the fourth quarter that allowed them to breathe for a few days.
Thanks to a 122-121 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night at the Chase Center, the Warriors snapped their three-game losing streak, with a pair of winnable home games later this week.
The Warriors trailed 113-103 with 4:31 remaining before closing on a 19-8 flurry that ended when Kelly Oubre Jr. made a pair of free throws with 7.7 seconds remaining to provide the margin of victory.
Steph Curry scored a game-high 41 points on 14 of 21 shots from the field and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc.
Here are three observations from a game in which the Warriors (24-27) took advantage of the Bucks (32-18) without reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was sidelined with knee pain.
Wiseman gets bold
In the wake of several unsatisfying games, the rookie has been listening to him from all corners in recent weeks. He even says that he is ignoring negative reviews on social media. This performance, however, should bring some days of peace and quiet.
Playing with attitude and determination, Wiseman achieved the third double-double of his career … in the first half, with 11 points and 10 rebounds. No less impressive, he had no turnovers or fouls in those 16 minutes.
After a low-impact second half, Wiseman finished with 13 points, on 6 of 13 shooting, 10 rebounds and two assists.
The first-half show was one that J-Wise the Warriors, players, coaches and executives, had been waiting for, having insisted it would come. If Wiseman contributes this energy level steadily, the numbers are sure to increase and outside noise will begin to fade.
Even with a couple of lost defensive rotations, the first half was Wiseman’s most encouraging streak in any game to date.
Warriors overcome Wiggins loss in key matchup
The Warriors thought they needed a draw, or something close, in the small forward matchup of Andrew Wiggins and two-time All-Star Khris Middleton. They did not achieve anything of the kind.
Middleton outscored Wiggins 28-9 and was the catalyst for a more than four-minute stretch of the third quarter in which Milwaukee eliminated a two-point deficit and built an eight-point lead.
Middleton in the fourth scored 14 points on 5 of 6 shots, for nine minutes, while Wiggins did not score on 0 of 5 shots.
Wiggins was 4 of 15 on the night, including an open triple in the closing seconds. Middleton’s total came on 10 of 19 shots, including 2 of 4 from distance.
To the extent that Wiggins has been pitching so well since the All-Star break last month, this was a daunting turn for the Warriors.
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Warriors defense continues to slide
When the Warriors were in their prime, it was because their fierce defense was unleashing their voracious offense. The defense was, and is, his best hope of overcoming this depression.
However, they have to find it first. It did not appear in this game.
The Bucks shot 51.8 percent from the field, including a staggering 43.8 percent from deep. The fact that the Warriors went through so many offensive dry spells was due in large part to their failure to stop.
This is the fifth opponent in seven games to shoot better than 50 percent against the Warriors, who have lost four of the five games.
The team that recorded the best defense in the NBA in the fourth quarter in February has evaporated before the rumor resurfaced at the end of this game.
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