MILWAUKEE • There would be no snarky T-shirts adorning the Milwaukee Bucks' owners this time, no confetti falling from the ceiling and no delirious celebration like a year ago when the Bucks snapped the Golden State Warriors' National Basketball Association (NBA) record 24-game winning streak to open the season.
This time, the Bucks (5-7) could not cash in down the stretch and dropped a 124-122 decision to the Warriors (11-2), who extended their winning streak to seven games.
"We've played in some tight games but not down to the wire like this," said Kevin Durant of the Warriors, who led all scorers with 33 points.
"It was a good test for us in the second night of a back-to-back to see how we'd respond facing a young team that was ready for us."
Down 14 early in the final quarter, Milwaukee stormed back and made it a 122-120 game when Jabari Parker converted a three-point play with 2min 33sec remaining.
Giannis Antetokounmpo forced a turnover on the other end but missed on a driving floater and Mirza Teletovic came up short on an open three-pointer, giving Golden State the ball back with 93 seconds remaining.
Antetokounmpo came up big again, blocking Draymond Green at the rim but, after the Bucks used a timeout to draw up a play, the Greek missed a 12-footer.
"The guys fought for 48 minutes," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said.
"When you're playing against a team like the Warriors, you want to have an opportunity. Defensively, we got the stops. Offensively, we just couldn't get the ball to go in."
Klay Thompson added 29 points on nine-of-17 shooting. He and Durant combined to go 19-for-34 from the field with 10 three-pointers as the Warriors connected at a 44.2 per cent clip and made 14 of 38 three-point attempts.
The Bucks shot 52.3 per cent for the game and were 10-for-20 from beyond the arc. Antetokounmpo led the team with 30 points.
In Houston, James Harden scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to power the Houston Rockets over the Utah Jazz 111-102.
The Rockets' reserves produced 44 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists as Houston improved to 8-5 while Utah fell to 7-7 with a third consecutive loss.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE