Warriors too potent for Bucks
Golden State clutch from outside arc in impressive road win
By Geoff Lepper
MILWAUKEE — From an aesthetic standpoint, the Warriors are still more late-night infomercial material than the second coming of Halle Berry.
But while the folks at ESPN are probably gnashing their teeth over not having their daily dose of Baron Davis spinning like a dreidel before dropping a spot-on back pass to Jason Richardson for a monstrous jam, the Warriors are happy to go about building their best start in more than a decade in solid, if not flashy, fashion.
Combining a little bit of everything from a variety of sources — Davis, Richardson and Troy Murphy all set or tied personal bests of one sort or another — with their best shooting performance of the season, the Warriors knocked Milwaukee from the ranks of NBA unbeatens Tuesday night with an impressive 110-103 road victory.
The Warriors are 2-0 away from home for the first time since 1994 and, at 3-1 overall, are also off to their best start since that year. All of this despite getting just four points from the vaunted fastbreak that took them to prominence last year.
"It's very satisfying," Richardson said. "We're not worried about what people think of us. We're going out there trying to win games.
"We don't care if they're ugly, pretty, fastbreaks a lot, dunks a lot, 3-pointers. As long as we win the game, that's all that matters. I think that's the difference right now. We just want to win."
The Warriors did so by finally getting untracked from the perimeter.
Coming into the game in the middle of the statistical pack in terms of field-goal and 3-point accuracy, the Warriors hit exactly half their shots from the field (39-for-78) and hit on an even more eye-popping 48.1 percent (13-for-27) from behind the arc.
"That's the Golden State team that I was with the last 18 games," said Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts, a Warriors assistant last year. "That's the wayfrom Sports 1
they play. They've got rhythm to their jump shots. The 3-point line was the story. They hit some tough 3s when it counted."
Davis, looking as close to 100 percent as he's been since suffering a hamstring strain in the season opener, had 20 points and Richardson his typical 23, but both were trumped by Murphy, whose game-high 25 included four 3-pointers, tying his career best for a single game.
"Troy, he was huge tonight," said Mike Dunleavy, who also contributed 10 points, five boards, two assists and a block. "When he hits those shots, we're almost impossible to guard, because he spreads the court out so well."
Many of the 3-pointers followed penetration by Davis, whose 15 assists marked his best total as a Warrior. And many of those possessions were put in motion by Richardson, whose 14 rebounds, 11 on the defensive end, were a career high.
The Warriors stormed to a 13-point lead by going on a 19-4 run in the third quarter, a stretch keyed by eight points from Murphy but which featured scoring from all five starters.
Maurice Williams came off the bench and scored 17 second-half points to help Milwaukee chop away at that bulge, but every time the Bucks neared, a Warrior hit a clutch 3-pointer to stem the tide.
Richardson knocked one down to make it 87-80 with 9 minutes remaining. Murphy canned his last for a 93-87 lead at the 5:38 mark. And after Milwaukee's Charlie Bell stole a cross-court pass by Davis and raced 50 feet for an uncontested layup to get the Bucks within two, Davis and Derek Fisher sank back-to-back triples on Golden State's ensuing trips to help put things out of reach.
Fisher, the only Warriors player to have tasted real playoff success, was happy but not content with the win, instead looking ahead to today, when the team will complete its first set of back-to-back games on consecutive nights against the Chicago Bulls. The team may or may not have the use of Davis.
"We know that we aren't playing our best basketball, but we've done enough to win games," Fisher said. "What would feel real good is to get the game in Chicago. I think that would really show a lot of growth on our part if we can stay focused and disciplined enough to get that game."
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