A short-handed Golden State Warriors have provided a respectable showing in Milwaukee on Saturday, giving the Bucks all they could handle before eventually going down 129-118.
Playing without franchise star Stephen Curry among a host of other rotation players, the Warriors threatened a shocking upset when they led by seven in the third-quarter. But with Giannis Antetekounmpo, Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton combining for 84 points, Golden State ran out of firepower in a second-half where the Milwaukee big three proved unstoppable.
The Golden State Warriors faded late in Milwaukee but otherwise produced a strong showing on the second night of a back-to-back
After a 140-131 win in Chicago on Friday, the Warriors started strong before falling behind by nine at the end of the opening period. Led by rookie duo Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis, along with third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga, the Warriors responded with a 24-10 run to open the second-quarter.
Golden State led 56-54 at half-time before extending their lead to seven in the third, only for Milwaukee to spring to life with a 10-0 run. The Warriors remained within two heading to the fourth-quarter, and had the game tied with eight minutes remaining, but were unable to get stops against a surging Bucks' offense that put up 75 points in the second-half.
Kuminga continued his explosion in the fourth and Klay Thompson began to find his range after early struggles, yet the undermanned visitors were no match without the resting Curry and absent veterans in Chris Paul and Draymond Green.
Kuminga's 28 points were a career-high, beating the 26 he had against the Toronto Raptors in his rookie season. The 21-year-old shot 10-of-18 from the floor including 2-of-3 from three-point range, adding to his strong 24-point outing in Chicago from the night before.
Podziemski celebrated his homecoming in similarly impressive fashion, with the Wisconsin native also going for an equal career-high 23 points and adding 10 rebounds in his third career double-double. The 19th overall pick shot an efficient 10-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, including a pair of highlight step-back triples over Lillard and Antetekounmpo in the third-quarter.
Coming off 30 points against the Bulls on Friday, Thompson found things tougher without his fellow splash brother. The 33-year-old veteran still added 21 points, three rebounds and three assists, but shot just 7-of-23 from the floor and 6-of-17 from deep.
After a franchise record low of five turnovers against the Bulls, the Warriors were again tidy in conceding just nine giveaways against the Bucks. They shot 48% from the floor and 41.7% from three-point range, yet were outgunned by Milwaukee's 54.3% shooting.
Now holding an 18-21 record and still 12th in the Western Conference, Golden State will get a day off before facing the Grizzlies in Memphis on Monday.