The Warriors won their 10th in a row on Tuesday, besting a Bucks team that has won just seven times all season and is at the bottom of the league-wide standings.
The games still need to be played, however, and Golden State allowed Milwaukee to hang around for a half or so before blowing them out over the final two periods to finish with a 101-80 victory that now has them sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Warriors fans get on David Lee quite a bit for his inconsistency and lack of defense, but he’s been killing it on the offensive end of the floor as of late, and performed no differently in this one. Lee made 10 of his 12 shots, and finished with a game-high 22 points and 18 rebounds.
Although it was a 21-point victory for Golden State, it came on an off night of shooting from both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who combined to hit just three of their 17 attempts from three-point distance. But when the Bucks shoot just 38.8 percent from the field and get outrebounded by 17, that leaves plenty of margin for error.
The Bucks got just five points and six rebounds from franchise cornerstone Larry Sanders, who’s better at fighting with teammates these days than he is playing the game of basketball. Brandon Knight has been the best Buck all season long, and he finished with 18 points on 53.3 percent shooting, to go along with four assists.
The Warriors are at Brooklyn on Wednesday, and while road back-to-backs are never easy, they should have an advantage against a Nets team that will be without Deron Williams due to injury. From there Golden State hosts the Celtics and the Nuggets before hitting the road to face Oklahoma City, by which time their win streak could realistically have reached 13 games.
Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs
He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.
Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said. “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”
I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.
His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”
He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.
Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.
Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.