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K.D. and Draymond return, but Warriors stomped by young Bucks

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokoumbo throws down a power slam during the Bucks 116-107 win over the Warriors Thursday night. Antetokoumbo led all scorers with 32 points
©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokoumbo throws down a power slam during the Bucks 116-107 win over the Warriors Thursday night. Antetokoumbo led all scorers with 32 points

BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

It was supposed to be the beginning of a return to grace with healthy bodies, but it turned out to just be another sloppy loss punctuated by emotional outbursts and a highly questionable ejection as the Warriors skid continued with a 116-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night at Oracle in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated.

With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green returning from injuries Golden State was playing an up-tempo game with a number of lead changes until the final two minutes of the first half. But after Giannis Antetokoumbo’s running dunk with 90 seconds remaining in the second quarter tied the score at 47, the Bucks scored the final 11 points of the half to take charge and never looked back.

Aided by a Warriors melt down and some shoddy officiating, the Bucks took a nine point lead into the locker room which would swell to as many as 23 before allowing the Warriors to close the gap in the fourth quarter after calling off the dogs. The turning point of the game was Durant’s ejection with just seconds remaining in the half.

Showing no significant signs of rust following his lay-off, Durant had scored ten points in 17 minutes of action, but it was his objection to a no call after clearly getting hacked by Antetokoumbo while driving the lane that ended his night prematurely and all but insured the Warriors third loss in a row at home. It was also their seventh loss in their last ten games overall and left Golden State with ten player ejections on the season, more then the team has had in the past ten years combined.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Draymond Green returned to the line-up with 11 points, five rebounds, and six assists but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Warriors lost to Milwaukee 116-107 at Oracle Thursday night.
©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Draymond Green returned to the line-up with 11 points, five rebounds, and six assists but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Warriors lost to Milwaukee 116-107 at Oracle Thursday night.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, asked about Durant’s ejection, simply said “I think he said the magic word. I think Kevin just had a moment. He was frustrated.” Kerr was more complimentary when asked about KD’s return to the lineup. “I thought he looked good and he was moving well. When you comeback after a layoff like that, it takes a little while to get your bearings. I thought he looked good physically. I thought he wasn’t quite there in terms of the speed and force of the game, but that will probably come next game.”

Durant for his part was more straightforward about the sudden end of his night. “I got fouled and I told him how I felt about it and he kicked me out. Pretty simple. I was feeling good out there. I was figuring things out. Definitely wanted to finish the game. That’s what I’m more upset about, that I didn’t finish the game. I wanted to play after being out a couple of weeks.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Quinn Cook led the Warriors with a career-high 30 points but it wasn't nearly enough to help as the Bucks pulled away for a easy win in the second half.
©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Quinn Cook led the Warriors with a career-high 30 points but it wasn’t nearly enough to help as the Bucks pulled away for a easy win in the second half.

Antetokoumbo led all scorers with 32 while Khris Middleton added 23 for Milwaukee. Eric Bledsoe also pumped in 20 as the Bucks shot 55.2 percent from the field. Quinn Cook, continuing to shine in Stepen Curry’s absence, netted a career high 30 for the Warriors on 12-of-15 shooting.

Golden State returns to the floor on Saturday night in Sacramento for a game against the Kings before starting April the following night when the Phoenix Suns, owners of the worst record in the NBA come to Oracle for a 5:30 tip-off.

About Daniel Gluskoter

Daniel Gluskoter is the Martinez Tribune's national music and sports editor and a Bay Area photojournalist who's work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2008 Presidential campaign as a correspondent for United Press International and has travelled worldwide covering events ranging from numerous Super Bowls and Olympics to Live Aid and the Grammys.

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