Stephen Curry Drops 41 as Warriors Beat Bucks with Giannis Injured

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 7, 2021

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Stephen Curry scored 41 points as the Golden State Warriors upset the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 122-121 on Tuesday at Chase Center in San Francisco.

The Bucks were without reigning back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was sidelined with left knee soreness.

Kelly Oubre Jr. hit a pair of free throws to give the Dubs a one-point edge with 7.7 seconds left.

Golden State's defense then came up big as Andrew Wiggins blocked Khris Middleton's game-winning three-point shot attempt with 3.7 seconds remaining.

Bucks guard Pat Connaughton got the offensive rebound but missed his shot attempt.

The 32-18 Bucks now sit third in the Eastern Conference and fell 2.5 games behind the 35-16 Brooklyn Nets, who lead the East. The 24-27 Warriors broke a three-game losing streak.

Notable Performances

Bucks G/F Khris Middleton: 28 points, 7 assists

Bucks G Jrue Holiday: 29 points, 5 assists

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Bucks F Bobby Portis: 13 points, 13 rebounds

Warriors PG Stephen Curry: 41 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists

Warriors SG Kelly Oubre Jr.: 19 points, 6 rebounds

Warriors C James Wiseman: 13 points, 10 rebounds

Curry Wills Warriors to Win

The Warriors may have entered this game as losers of seven of their last eight, but Curry appears determined to put Golden State on a winning path en route to a potential playoff berth.

He was simply sensational for the Warriors, scoring his 41 points on 14-of-21 shooting (5-of-10 from three-point range).

The point guard's efforts helped rookie big man James Wiseman have a big first half (11 points, 10 rebounds). He found Wiseman early for a dunk:

More often than not, though, Curry took care of business himself everywhere on the court. He sliced through the lane for this two:

Curry later added a teardrop to his Tuesday evening highlight reel:

He later added a three-pointer with time winding down in the third quarter to give himself 19 points in the frame and 30 points before the fourth. Plus, Curry made history along the way:

Curry stayed invincible in the fourth, nailing a deep three-pointer to bring the Warriors within two points despite seven-foot center Brook Lopez flying at him:

The 12-year NBA veteran then gave the Warriors some much-needed insurance by hitting a 21-foot two-pointer to give Golden State a 120-117 advantage.

Milwaukee then responded with a pair of Khris Middleton free throws and a Jrue Holiday bucket, but Oubre's free throws put the Warriors over the top.

Ultimately, it was Curry who put the Warriors in position for the win as they look to stay in the top 10 in the West.


Bucks Blow Big Lead Sans Giannis

The storylines for this game appeared to be written with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

First, Khris Middleton scored 14 of the Bucks' 38 third-quarter points to give Milwaukee a five-point edge going into the final 12 minutes. Then Jrue Holiday added his name into the mix with back-to-back threes to give the Bucks a 116-106 lead with four minutes remaining.

At that point, a win appeared to be a formality, with credit going to Middleton and Holiday for carrying the offense in Antetokounmpo's absence.

But then everything that could go wrong did for the Bucks.

Milwaukee proceeded to finish the game shooting 1-of-7 with one turnover. Meanwhile, the Warriors made six field goals (three from Curry, one each from Oubre, Bazemore and Wiggins) to help propel themselves into the lead.

The Bazemore layup was a heartbreaker in particular, as the ball hung on the back rim and appeared to be falling out before dropping into the hoop:

Credit to the Bucks for fighting back and taking the late one-point lead, but it wasn't meant to be with Oubre hitting the final two free throws and Wiggins coming up big on the other end.

Despite missing Antetokounmpo, this is a tough loss to swallow for the Bucks, especially considering that they had a 10-point lead with under four minutes remaining.

They have an outside chance at obtaining the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed, and a win would have pulled them to 1.5 games back of Brooklyn for first.

Instead, the Bucks' path just got harder after a tough four minutes down the stretch.


What's Next?

The Warriors will host the Washington Wizards on Friday at 10 p.m. ET. Milwaukee will visit the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday at 9 p.m. in American Airlines Center.