The Golden State Warriors have one of the NBA’s worst road records this season, but it’s their play away from home that will likely dictate their postseason chances.
The Warriors look for a better showing on the road when they open a five-game trip Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Golden State (26-31) is just outside the playoff picture in the tightly contested Western Conference and trying to avoid missing the postseason for the 13th straight season. To make up some ground the Warriors will need to improve their play on the road, where they are just 6-21 and allowing 112.4 points per contest.
After its meeting with Milwaukee (20-37), Golden State will visit Chicago, New York, Washington and Detroit.
“I think this road trip will make or break the season,” said Warriors swingman Jason Richardson, who recently returned after missing 22 games with a broken bone in his right hand. “We have five games on the road, and we have to come out positive off of this road trip. If we don’t come out winning games, we might as well hang the playoffs up.”
The Warriors haven’t been earning victories lately, dropping four of their last six. Despite averaging 105.4 points this season, they have been held to 90 or less in back-to-back contests, including Sunday’s 102-85 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Golden State shot 2-for-19 from 3-point range and hit just 42.9 percent (9-for-21) of its free throws—its worst mark of the season. Richardson scored 15 points and is averaging 17.3 in three games since returning from his injury.
He’ll try to continue that play against a Milwaukee squad that is looking to win two in a row for the first time since a six-game run from Dec. 16-27. The Bucks are just 4-22 since the beginning of January, but finally snapped a season-high seven-game skid with a 109-90 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday.
“It was great to get over that hump,” said Redd, who got his first win in four games since returning from a sprained patellar tendon in his left knee that caused him to miss 20 contests. “It’s all about how you react during adversity. We’ve been through a tough week, close losses. We were just determined.”
Williams shot 10-for-13, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range, and added seven assists.
“Everything was rolling,” said Williams, who scored 10 of his points in the third quarter to help Milwaukee pull away. “It’s a great feeling. I can’t explain how fun it is. It’s fun to shoot a shot and not have that much pressure on you because you’re up 20.”
Ruben Patterson added a double-double off the bench with 13 points and a career-high 10 assists for the Bucks, who are 12-12 at home this season.
Milwaukee beat the Warriors 115-110 on Dec. 2 as Charlie Bell scored 28 points, including five 3-pointers, and Redd added 24. Golden State has taken the last two meetings between the teams in Milwaukee, though, following a stretch of nine losses in 10 games there.
The Bucks may be without guard Earl Boykins, who has missed the last two contests with a lingering ligament injury in his right thumb.