By Rob Johnson
Special to S.F. Examiner
MILWAUKEE — With the Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant all in the same starting lineup, it’s hard to believe that the Golden State Warriors rank just 18th in the NBA in 3-point field goals attempted this season.
In Friday night’s 105-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Warriors finally, once again, looked like the Warriors. Golden State knocked down a respectable 19 3-pointers while attempting a season high 46, with Curry and Thompson both goint 4-of-9 from beyond the arc en route to each dropping a team-high 20 points.
The Warriors bench also had some marksmen, led by Jonas Jerebko (12 points on 4-of-9 from beyond the arc) and Alfonzo McKinnie, who scored nine points on 3-of-7 from long distance.
“I just want to shoot more threes than the opposition,” said coach Steve Kerr. “Jonas took nine of them and [Alfonzo McKinnie] must have taken six or seven … Those guys were ready to go and they knocked them down. It was big.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 22 points for the Bucks (16-8), but had to work for those, not scoring his first points until the final minute of the first quarter. Milwaukee then had to go away from its regular flow, and had to play catch-up the rest of the game.
“We have had our eye on them,” Kerr said. “This is a team we could play later on … We wanted to come out and give our best defensive effort. I thought it was. I thought it was our best defensive game of the year. We got after it right from the tip.”
The Warriors perimeter defense was also strong, forcing the Bucks to shoot just 7-for-39 from three.
“I thought we did a good job,” said Kerr, whose team improved to 18-9. “[Antetokounmpo]’s impossible to stop, but I thought we did a good job of mixing it up, throwing some double [teams] and rotating to shooters, and at times staying home and making him go through us to score. We didn’t give him too many easy ones. All-in-all, great effort.”
Durant had an off night, scoring just 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting — 18.8 points fewer than his season average — but veteran Andre Igoudala picked up the slack and scored 15 while shooting an efficient 60 percent from the field.
“Andre has a sense for when we need to perform well,” said Kerr. “This was a game that meant a lot to us. We were embarrassed a few weeks ago.”
Just a little over a month ago, the Bucks beat the Warriors 134-111 on their home court, by far their most disappointing performance this season, which began a stretch of six losses in eight games.
“We were embarrassed. We got smacked at home. It’s never fun,” Thompson said. “I thought we came out and played well on both sides. The defense hasn’t been that great. It’s good to finally put together a game where we hold the opponent to a not so great three-point percentage, force some turnovers and rebound the ball very well. That did feel really good, I’m not going to lie.”