Warriors regain shooting touch in victory over Bucks
Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson scored 20 points apiece on a light night of work and the Warriors regained their outside shooting touch in a 120-90 victory Wednesday over the Milwaukee Bucks.
“We got some much-needed rest,” Davis said. “I came into the game feeling a little sluggish. Anytime you get a night like this and you haven’t played as many minutes it’s big.”
The reduced minutes for Davis, Jackson and the other starters was a result of great shooting that helped Golden State take control of the game early.
A game after shooting 9-for-40 from 3-point range in an overtime loss to Orlando, the Warriors got off to a fast start from long distance and never slowed down. The Warriors shot 15-of-22 from 3-point range for the game.
The last time a team shot better than that in a game and made at least 15 3-pointers was when Toronto made 17 of 24 on Dec. 3, 2003, against Boston.
“I’d say anytime we shoot 68 percent from the 3 line we’re pretty good,” Nelson said. “It’s good to have one of these games once in a while. We don’t seem to have them anymore. Everybody got a chance to play. I think my bench needed that so I can start gaining some confidence in them.”
Al Harrington’s third three-pointer of the night capped an 11-0 run and gave Golden State a 64-36 lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The Warriors coasted from there to their 10th win in 12 games after an 0-6 start.
Even some of the little-used reserves got into the action, with Austin Croshere hitting three 3s in the fourth quarter.
“On nights like this I really don’t mind taking rest,” Jackson said. “If we’re up 10 points, 12 points I want to play, I want to finish games. But nights like this I don’t really need to be out there. It’s a chance for our young guys to get some reps and a chance for us to work on some stuff. Once we get up 30 in the fourth quarter it’s like we’re getting some practice in.”
Kelenna Azubuike scored 16 and Harrington added 15 for the Warriors, who were able to play some of their little-used reserves in the fourth quarter of a blowout to rest some of their starters.
Davis played only 31 minutes—8 below his season average—and Jackson played 32, down from his usual 41. Nelson said before the game that it was time to start reducing Davis’ workload to make sure he stayed healthy throughout the season.
Troy Hudson played a season-high 19 minutes as Nelson searches for a player to help take the load off of Davis.
“I’m going to try to not play him in the 40s if I can help it,” Nelson said. “I don’t know what that means. Every time I say that I end up not doing that so better off not saying it. That is my intention but winning always seems to be more important at the time.”
Michael Redd scored 24 points to lead the Bucks, who looked listless on the back end of back-to-back games. Milwaukee has lost six of seven with the only win in that stretch coming Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“It was frustrating how we played tonight,” Redd said. “We played terrible. They were tough on us both offensively and defensively.”
The Warriors made six of eight threes in the first quarter to take a five-point lead. Milwaukee then missed its first eight shots of the second quarter, falling behind 38-25.
Golden State’s shooting didn’t stop with Matt Barnes hitting a 3 to make it a 17-point game late in the half. Barnes then fed Monta Ellis on an alley-oop that made it 57-36 at the half.
Milwaukee shot 5-for-23 with six turnovers in the second quarter, getting outscored 27-11.
“I thought we kind of gave in effort wise,” Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “That team takes a lot of air out of your sails with the way they run and that barrage of 3-point shooting.”