Instant Replay: Warriors tempt fate in narrow win over Bucks

Instant Replay: Warriors tempt fate in narrow win over Bucks
March 20, 2014, 9:15 pm
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The Warriors remain on track to make the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. (USATSI)

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The Warriors tilted and staggered and even wobbled Thursday night before righting themselves in time to squeak out 115-110 win over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks.

This one wasn't locked away until the final seconds, when Stephen Curry dropped in a pair of free throws with 1 second to play.

The victory, before the 72nd consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, moved the Warriors (44-26) to 18 games over .500 for the first time this season – and the first time since the 1992-93 Warriors posted a 50-32 record.

Curry finished with a game-high 31 points to lead four Warriors in double figures. Klay Thompson finished with 29 points, while David Lee had 22 and 12 rebounds. Curry also picked up a game-high 11 assists.

Though the Warriors were 13-point favorites, they couldn't find a way to squelch Milwaukee (13-56), which has the worst record in the NBA. The Bucks aren't very good, but they have some good athletes and they play with passion.

The Warriors were outscored in the paint (58-52) and on second-chance points (14-10). They also were outscored, 35-33, in the fourth quarter but managed to survive.

Guard Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 27 points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: When the Warriors were seeking answers in the fourth quarter, they turned to Curry. He also delivered, scoring 15 points and making all seven of his free throws in 10 minutes of action.

When they sought answers in the third quarter, they turned to Lee. He delivered, with 8 critical points, on 4-of-5 shooting.

Jordan Crawford was instant offense off the bench, making five of his eight field-goal attempts.

TURNING POINT: After a Brandon Knight bucket but the Bucks up 66-65 with 5:09 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 17-9 run to finish the third.

The run was punctuated by a Jordan Crawford 34-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Warriors an 82-75 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Bucks never caught up or took another lead, but they were pesky throughout, right until the final possession.

INJURY UPDATE: C Jermaine O'Neal (rest) was available but did not play. F Andre Iguodala (right knee tendinitis) and C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) are out indefinitely.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Warriors on Saturday play the perennially elite Spurs at Oracle Arena in the third of four meetings this season. The Warriors lost the first two games, one on each team's floor, but earned a season split last season after being swept in each of the previous four. The Warriors have lost 50 of the past 58 meetings.

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