OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Stephen Curry needed just over a minute to turn a rough shooting night into a good one.
Curry made three straight 3-pointers in a span of 65 seconds in the fourth quarter to help the Golden State Warriors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 102-93 on Wednesday night in their return from a season-high, six-game road trip.
”Steph had arguably one of his worst games of the year going,” coach Steve Kerr said. ”But that’s Steph. That’s why he’s Stephen Curry. I used to watch it with Michael Jordan. On nights where he missed 10 shots in a row, when everyone else would just clam up, he just all of a sudden would find that incredible confidence. It’s unbreakable. Steph has that.
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”That’s what makes him special.”
Draymond Green had 23 points and 12 rebounds on his 25th birthday, Klay Thompson scored 17 points and Shaun Livingston added 16 for the Warriors, who improved to an NBA-best 25-2 at home.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams scored 16 points each for the Bucks, who have lost six of seven games and went winless on a four-game road trip.
”It’s been a learning experience, a process that a young team is going through,” coach Jason Kidd said. ”We’re only going to get better from it.”
After playing 10 of the previous 11 games on the road, Golden State was locked in a close game until Curry found his shooting stroke in the fourth quarter.
After missing eight of his first 10 shots, Curry made three in a row from long range to give Golden State an 85-75 lead. Curry finished with 19 points and 11 assists and had his 60th career game with at least five 3-pointers and five assists – 10 more than Ray Allen, who is second on the NBA career list with 50 of those games.
”That brought us down,” Carter-Williams said. ”We can’t have those setbacks. He’s an All-Star and we have to focus on him the whole 48 minutes. We didn’t on those possessions and it hurt us.”
Green followed with a breakaway dunk and Andre Iguodala added another slam to cap a 14-2 run as the Warriors coasted to the win.
The Warriors went from 13 points up late in the second quarter to trailing by seven early in the third as Milwaukee used an 18-0 run spanning halftime to silence the sellout crowd.
But Iguodala tied the game with a four-point play and Shaun Livingston hit back-to-back baskets to help Golden State head into the fourth quarter with a 72-71 lead.
Bucks: G O.J. Mayo sat out for the fourth time in five games because of a sore right hamstring. … PF Jared Dudley moved back into the starting lineup with Ersan Ilyasova coming off the bench after averaging 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in five starts.
Warriors: Curry missed a technical foul shot early in the fourth quarter, snapping a streak of 33 straight made free throws. … The Warriors had 30 assists, marking the 23rd time they have reached that in a game this season. Next most in the league is Atlanta with 12 30-assist games.
Green became the first Warriors player with at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and three steals since Donyell Marshall on March, 10, 2000, against Seattle. This marked the third straight year the Warriors won on Green’s birthday, but he had just 10 points combined the previous two years.
”I usually don’t play well on my birthday,” Green said. ”I don’t know why. The last time I played this well on my birthday was probably eighth grade.”
The Warriors went small for the entire fourth quarter, with the 6-foot-7 Green playing center. Livingston, Curry and Thompson played a three-guard lineup the final half of the quarter with Iguodala at power forward.
”Small ball is the way everyone is going and it’s good for us,” Kerr said. ”We’re good at it.”