BUCKS 109, WARRIORS 102
Golden State fades away in second half
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 10:20 p.m.
MILWAUKEE — After the 109-102 setback Golden State took Saturday night, it's hard not to wonder if reality is setting in for these undermanned Warriors. It was their second loss to a beatable team, and in both they were outworked and looked fatigue.
“We just have to pick up our effort and our level of play if we expect to be a successful basketball team,” point guard Jarrett Jack said. “Across the board.”
As did Chicago on Friday, Milwaukee dominated the interior. The Bucks outrebounded the Warriors 58-50 and racked up 27 second-chance points. In the loss at Chicago, Golden State was outrebounded by 19 and gave up 30 second-chance points.
“We climbed back. We showed some fight,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “But it takes so much out of you when you have to defend for 48 seconds instead of 24 seconds. Too many second-chance points. That really hurt us, and it cost is the ballgame.”
The interior inferiority was again compounded by opponents' guards catching fire. One night after Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson torched the Warriors for 47 points, Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis hurt the Warriors with 40.
Jennings scored 18 of his 20 points in the third quarter, when the Bucks took over the game, knocking down five straight 3-pointers.
Golden State (26-17), loser of two straight, gets a day off before a back-to-back set at Toronto and Cleveland. It's pretty early to start calling games must-wins, but the Warriors can ill-afford an elongated slide.
“I just try to have concerted effort, try to come in and give my team energy. We had kind of a down period in the third quarter, coming out of halftime. They made tough shots to go along with it.”
Are teams figuring out Jackson's schemes? Is the weight of leading the team wearing down stars Stephen Curry and David Lee?
The Warriors, though, didn't seem too worried after the game.
“We're not panicking at all,” Curry said after totaling 26 points and seven assists. “We beat two good teams before this little slide. ... We just have to get back to how we were playing before we left Oracle — up-tempo, physical on both ends and making big plays when they matter.”
The silver lining out of Saturday's game, those in the locker room contend, is that Golden State displayed that familiar resiliency. That wasn't the case at Chicago, but perhaps that's because the Bulls, No. 4 in the Eastern Conference standing, are a better team.
Either way, the Warriors had a chance to win Saturday.
They opened the fourth quarter down 12. But Jack, who finished with 13 points and 10 assists, got them back in the game with consecutive 3-pointers.
Reserve Richard Jefferson followed with a layup, cutting Milwaukee's lead to 86-82.
But the Bucks responded with an 8-0 run, thanks to three straight open looks. Ersan Ilyasova knocked down two of them, including the 18-foot jumper that put Golden State down 94-82.
Golden State put together another run to make it interesting.
Curry hit a 3-pointer to cut it 98-93 with just over three minutes left. Then, with 52.9 seconds left, Jack nailed a 3-pointer to pull the Warriors within 100-98.
But the Warriors couldn't get a stop. With Curry in his face, Ellis (20 points) nailed a dagger 3-pointer to put Golden State down five.
On the ensuing possession, Lee capped a rough night by committing the Warriors' 16th turnover with a travel violation. Game over.
“It's a disappointing loss,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, it's important for us not to let go of the rope. And we're not going to do that.”
BOGUT BREAKS SILENCE
Warriors center Andrew Bogut broke a nearly two-month silence Saturday, his first trip to Milwaukee since being traded to the Warriors in March. Bogut is rehabbing his surgically repaired left ankle, and Golden State isn't putting a timetable on his return. But Saturday, you could sense his frustration.
“I mean, it's been a long road for me,” he said. “It is definitely taking a lot longer than we expected. It's frustrating. Nobody wants to be hurt. I don't want to be hurt. At the same time, I've got no choice but to go through this process, do the right things and then come back strong.”
Ellis and Ekpe Udoh, whom the Warriors gave up for Bogut, have played more than 60 games each for the Bucks, currently the No. 7 seed in the East. Bogut, on the other hand, has given the Warriors four games, 73 minutes.
Coming back to Milwaukee dredged up that disappointing fact.
“I'm injury prone,” Bogut said. “I'm injury prone (in the sense) that I've had a lot of gruesome injuries that I can't control. It's just one of those things I've got to deal with.”
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