Davis had 20 points and 15 assists and the Golden State Warriors went 13-of-27 from 3-point range in a 110-103 victory over the Bucks on Tuesday night.
“We’re not going to live and die on that,” Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said of the long range shooting. “But that’s who we are, we’re a pretty good shooting team.”
Davis also showed T.J. Ford that he’s still got a lot to learn at point guard by holding him to eight points on 3-of-14 shooting.
“What I’m trying to do is use my body,” Davis said. “That way, as I back him down, I can kick it out to other players.”
That main benefactor was Murphy, who scored 25 points including going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Jason Richardson added 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Warriors (3-1).
“They just kept hitting shots,” said Bucks guard Michael Redd, who finished with 21 points. “It was one of those nights where they kept hitting shots.”
Mo Williams added 21 points and Joe Smith, in his first game after struggling with a nagging knee injury, had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks (3-1).
Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts, who served on the Warriors staff last season, worried before the game about the matchup problems the 6-foot-11 Murphy presented.
With Davis slashing, Murphy scored eight straight points, including consecutive 3s, and Mike Dunleavy hit a third straight shot from beyond the arc as Golden State stretched the lead to 72-59 late in the third quarter.
The Bucks, who had come from behind in all three previous games, had never been down by as much, as late at that point.
But they mounted another run—without Redd, who scored just two points after picking up his fifth foul with 7:09 left.
After a three-point play by Williams and a layup by Charlie Bell, the Bucks trailed 90-87 before Murphy hit another 3-pointer and added a three-point play on the next possession to make it 96-87. Davis had assists on each play.
“He found me and I just took the shot,” Murphy said. “You’ve got to take those when you’re open. The worst that can happen is you miss.”
The Bucks got it back to 96-94, but Davis made a 3-pointer of his own and Derek Fisher added another 3 to end the Bucks’ threat.
“They were cutting into our lead due to our mistakes,” Davis said. “(But) we have guys capable of making big shots.”
Davis, a two-time All-Star, kept Ford, the Eastern Conference’s player of the week, close after he had 10 assists in the first half. Davis throttled him in the second half—allowing just two points and one assist.
“He’s a physical player, he was an All-Star and he made some big shots and made some good passes. He put up some big numbers,” Ford said.
Golden State picked up Davis in a February trade with New Orleans, and he helped spark a 14-4 streak to end last season. With every starter returning, Golden State has picked up right where it left off.
“There was a lot of excitement at the end of last season,” Murphy said. “We wished we had made the trade in December and had the whole season to play. But everybody worked hard this summer, and wanted to come in and play well and it’s shown.”
Stotts said he wasn’t surprised by the Warriors’ effort.
“That’s the Golden State team I was with the last 18 games (last season),” he said. “That’s the way they play.”
Ford’s dynamic play has been the biggest improvement for the surprising Bucks after he missed last season following cervical spine surgery.
But he played on the edge most of the night, like when he intercepted a pass, nearly fell coming up the court, dribbled behind his back and spun a bounce pass under the basket to Redd, who completed the break with a difficult reverse layup.
During that stretch, Ford had assists on four of five baskets as Milwaukee turned a four-point deficit into a 53-50 lead, but Davis answered with a 3-pointer to tie the game at halftime.
The Bucks started the 2001-02 season 4-0, before that, Milwaukee won its first seven games in 1971-72. … The last time the Bucks started a season with four straight 100-point games was 1997-98. … Golden State has won four straight against the Bucks. … Davis has 24 assists in the last two games.