OAKLAND -- The Warriors continue their quest to right the ship Saturday night, when they face the Milwaukee Bucks at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors (54-14) entered the week having lost three consecutive games but have responded by coming home and winning two in a row to push their record to 4-4 in March.
The Bucks (34-34), however, pose a serious challenge. Despite a season-ending injury to Jabari Parker, Miwaukee has moved squarely into playoff position, winning eight of its last nine, including a Clippers-Lakers sweep this week in Los Angeles.
Warriors by 11
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Draymond Green & Co. vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: With Kevin Durant out and no other natural matchup for the 6-foot-11 Greek Freak, the Warriors will rely on defense by committee. They want to do everything possible to keep Antetokounmpo out of transition, where he is devastating, and force him to shoot jump shots. He is among a handful of young players capable of dominating the game at both ends. The Warriors will send, in no particular order, Green, Matt Barnes, Andre Iguodala and possibly James Michael McAdoo toward Antetokounmpo.
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney are on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.
Bucks: F Michael Beasley (L knee hyperextension) and F Jabari Parker (L knee surgery) are listed as out.
Warriors: 5-5. Bucks: 8-2.
The Warriors have won six of the last seven meetings, including a 124-121 victory on Nov. 19 in Milwaukee.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
SPLASHING: While Klay Thompson and Green have returned to customary form, Stephen Curry continues to search for his 3-point-shooting groove. A career 43.6-percent shooter from deep, he has not reached that level in any of the past 10 games, a period during which he shot 26 percent.
SAVVY AND SCRAP VS. FRISKY LENGTH: While the Warriors like to play “small” as often as possible, the Bucks are among the tallest teams in the league; the starters average 6-foot-8. Knowing the defensive capability of that length has created problems for them in the past, the Warriors realize they must take care of the ball while also winning the hustle game.
THE MARKSMANSHIP: Formerly a team that couldn’t shoot straight, the Bucks have built a solid offense with capable shooters, most notably forward Khris Middleton, who returned from injury and has replaced Parker in the starting line. The Bucks are shooting 47.7 percent from the field, ranking behind only the Warriors (49.1). Milwaukee is 5-23 when outshot by opponents.