OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry had 31 points and 11 assists, Klay Thompson scored 29 and the Golden State Warriors moved 18 games over .500 for the first time in 20 years with a 115-110 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
David Lee added 22 points and 12 rebounds to help the Warriors sweat out a tougher-than-expected game against the NBA’s worst team. Golden State (44-26) remains in sixth place in the tight Western Conference standings, 1 games behind Portland and 2 games ahead of Memphis and Dallas with 12 games left.
The Bucks (13-56) were handed another blow in a season full of them when guard Nate Wolters broke his left hand in the first half. Reserve forward Jeff Adrien also received three stitches above his left eye before coming back in the second quarter.
Brandon Knight had 27 points and eight rebounds, and Ramon Sessions scored 18 for Milwaukee, which has lost six straight and nine of 10.
The Bucks, who lost in overtime at Portland on Tuesday night, surprisingly stayed with the Warriors most of the game until Curry and company found their touch late.
On one play late in the fourth quarter, Curry dribbled to his left and was fouled by Khris Middleton when he tossed the ball up — and in — with his right hand and his back to the basket. Curry shook his shoulders and waved his arms in celebration, and he completed the three-point play to give Golden State a 104-94 lead with 3:59 remaining.
Milwaukee made one last run highlighted by Ersan Ilyasova’s three-point play that sliced the Warriors’ lead to 108-105 with 56.2 seconds left. But Thompson quickly came back with a corner 3, and Curry made four free throws in the final seconds to seal a milestone win for the Bay Area’s beloved basketball franchise.
The last time the Warriors were 18 games over .500 was when they finished the 1993-94 season with a 50-32 record. They also remain on track to make the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons.
The Warriors have five days off after hosting San Antonio on Saturday, and coach Mark Jackson has been trying to balance winning with getting his banged-up players some rest.
Starting swingman Andre Iguodala (right knee tendinitis) and backup center Jermaine O’Neal (rest) sat out for the second straight game. Iguodala also will miss the game against the Spurs, while O’Neal is questionable.
Milwaukee hardly gave Golden State a night off.
After the Warriors went ahead by 10 early in the second half, the banged-up Bucks came roaring back. Milwaukee took advantage of some sloppy turnovers by Golden State to go up 66-65 late in the third quarter.
The Warriors put together a brief spurt capped by Jordan Crawford’s 34-footer over Giannis Antetokounmpo as the third quarter expired to take an 82-75 lead. Crawford hit another 3-pointer at the start of the fourth to stretch the lead to 10, and the Warriors held on in the closing minutes.