NBA: Milwaukee Bucks beat Golden State Warriors despite poor shooting

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks goes up for a slam dunk during an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Jan 08, 2020 in San Francisco. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The Milwaukee Bucks used a stellar defensive effort to overcome poor shooting on Wednesday night (Jan 8), struggling past host Golden State 107-98 on a night when Warriors coach Steve Kerr resorted to a late hack-a-Giannis strategy.

Two days after shooting 15-for-45 on three-pointers in a 126-104 loss at San Antonio, the Bucks were dreadful from behind the line - 9-for-41 - but still managed a sixth win in their last seven games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points, and Khris Middleton 21 for the Bucks, who won for the third straight time at Golden State, this time in their first visit to the new Chase Centre in San Francisco.

After being held to a 19-all tie through one quarter, the Bucks never trailed over the final 36 minutes, but also never created a comfortable margin over the Warriors, the Western Conference's last-place team.

Antetokounmpo gave Milwaukee a rare double-digit lead at 99-88 when he converted an alley-oop into a dunk with 3:26 left, before Kerr called upon his team to foul the reigning Most Valuable Player on two consecutive possessions.

Antetokounmpo missed two of the four free throws, then air-balled a three-point attempt, helping Golden State reclaim possession trailing 101-96 with still 1:30 to go.

But defence saved the Bucks, as the Warriors went from the 2:30 mark to 27.0 seconds remaining without a field goal, allowing Milwaukee to hold on.

Antetokounmpo hit nine of his 14 two-point shots, but was not nearly as good on three-pointers (1-for-7) or at the free throw line (9-for-13). He also found time for a game-high 12 rebounds.

Eric Bledsoe added 16 points, and Brook Lopez 12 for the Bucks, the NBA's top team with 33 wins.

Alec Burks led six Warriors in double figures with 19 points on a night when Golden State shot 15-for-38 on three-pointers and outscored the Bucks 45-27 from beyond the arc.

Glenn Robinson III and Damion Lee had 15 apiece, Omari Spellman had 11, and Willie Cauley-Stein and Alen Smailagic scored 10 each for the Warriors, whose loss was their 30th of the season.

Cauley-Stein completed a double-double with a team-high 11 rebounds.

Overall, the Bucks outshot the Warriors overall 40.2 per cent to 37.9.

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