Bucks hand War­riors first home loss

Thurs­day Night

San Francisco Chronicle - - NBA - By Con­nor Le­tourneau Con­nor Le­tourneau is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: cle­tourneau@ sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @Con_Chron

Over the past three-plus weeks, as they steam­rolled through the early part of their sched­ule, the War­riors ap­peared poised to quash even the faintest of hopes for com­pet­i­tive bal­ance in the NBA.

But in its 134-111 loss to the Bucks on Thurs­day night at Or­a­cle Arena, Golden State shed its air of in­vin­ci­bil­ity, show­ing that it is, in fact, beat­able. With for­ward Dray­mond Green side­lined be­cause of a sprained right foot and toe, the War­riors looked out of sorts on both sides of the court as they toiled to their big­gest blowout since a 40-point de­feat to Utah on April 10.

Un­able to string to­gether stops, Golden State was well be­hind Mil­wau­kee by the time War­riors point guard Stephen Curry hob­bled to the locker room late in the third quar­ter with a left ad­duc­tor strain. His in­jury ap­peared to come sev­eral min­utes ear­lier when he gri­maced af­ter at­tempt­ing to block Eric Bled­soe’s lob pass to Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo.

Curry fin­ished with 10 points on 5-for-14 shoot­ing — in­clud­ing 0-for-4 from three-point range — to go with four fouls and two turnovers. Though no up­date was im­me­di­ately avail­able on his health, Curry is ex­pected to have an MRI exam Fri­day.

“You’re al­ways con­cerned for your team­mates, but I’m sure he’ll be all right,” for­ward Jonas Jere­bko said. “We’ve got a great train­ing staff, so I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Af­ter see­ing its eight-game win­ning streak end, Golden State is forced to grap­ple with the fact that even one of the most loaded ros­ters in NBA his­tory is vul­ner­a­ble to in­juries to key play­ers. Though the in­juries to Green or Curry don’t ap­pear to be se­ri­ous, the War­riors will be cau­tious with both All-Stars.

As Golden State awaits more de­tails on the sta­tus of Green and Curry, it has plenty to glean from the video of Thurs­day’s drub­bing. Gone was the team that had cruised to the West­ern Con­fer­ence’s best record at 10-1. With­out their emo­tional leader in Green on the floor, the War­riors were slow switch­ing off screens and get­ting hands on Mil­wau­kee’s top op­tions.

To pour in a game-high 26 points, Bled­soe needed only 12 shots. An­te­tok­oun­mpo made 10 of his 11 free-throw at­tempts and scored 13 of his 24 points in the de­ci­sive sec­ond quar­ter.

With Mal­colm Brog­don (20 points), Khris Mid­dle­ton (17 points) and Pat Con­naughton (15 points) pro­vid­ing wor­thy com­ple­ments, the Bucks shot 51.5 per­cent from the field, in­clud­ing 43-for-66 (65.2 per­cent) on two point­ers. Per­haps most con­cern­ing to Golden State head coach Steve Kerr was that his team seemed to give up mid­way through the third quar­ter on a night it was out-re­bounded 46-38.

“They shot a lot of free throws to start the game,” War­riors for­ward Kevin Durant said. “They had a set de­fense, and I thought they did a great job of re­ally guard­ing me, Steph and Klay (Thomp­son) with two guys. … They forced us to pass the ball to the other two guys in the game, and kind of threw us off on of­fense a bit.”

Added Kerr: “I think we got a lit­tle com­pla­cent. We won the last eight games, and we were feel­ing pretty good about our­selves. It was just one of those nights.”

Durant wasn’t much bet­ter than Curry, miss­ing nine of his 15 shots and com­mit­ting six turnovers. The War­riors’ three avail­able All-Stars — Curry, Durant and Thomp­son — fin­ished with a com­bined plus­mi­nus of mi­nus-82.

It all was a far cry from the joy­ful, co­he­sive brand of bas­ket­ball Golden State had been play­ing.

The ques­tion now is whether Thurs­day’s dud was a one-night blip or a sign of some­thing more wor­ri­some. If Green or Curry have to miss ex­tended time, will the War­riors rally to­gether or wilt in the face of this sea­son’s first bout of ad­ver­sity?

“They came in and kicked our ass,” Jere­bko said. “Hats off to them. We’ve got to get into the lab to­mor­row and look at it. We’ll be fine.”

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Stephen Curry, who left in the third quar­ter with an in­jury, re­acts af­ter be­ing called for a foul against the Bucks.

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