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Warriors stay hot in frozen Milwaukee

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- Even a "Polar Vortex" that plunged the Upper Midwest into some of the most bitter cold in ages couldn't cool off the red-hot Golden State Warriors, who pulled away in the second half for a 101-80 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The victory extended the Warriors' winning streak to 10 games, matching the Miami Heat for the league's second-longest winning streak this season. Golden State also won the first six games of a seven-game road swing against Eastern Conference teams.

"Teams in this league aren't going to lay down," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "You have to make sure you're prepared and when you get the opportunity you create some separation ... it's another quality win for us and we can put another in the bank."

Forward David Lee led the way on offense, scoring 22 points on 10 of 12 shooting and pulled down 18 rebounds.

"We're playing more consistent basketball," Lee said. "Everybody is stepping up when they need to."

Along with Lee, guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each finished with 15 points and forward Andre Iguodala added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut scored eight points, 11 rebounds and a blocked shot in Milwaukee, where he spent his first seven NBA seasons.

"It was good," Bogut said. "We got the win, which is the one thing I care about but it was good to see friends and family I haven't seen in a while."

The Bucks came into the game with the league's worst record after a 1-3 trip West that ended with a 116-100 loss on Sunday night at Phoenix.

Point guard Brandon Knight got the Bucks off to a good start, scoring 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting, as Milwaukee shot 58 percent from the field and led 30-28 after one quarter.

"We did a good job of getting back," Knight said. "I think that's why the game was close in the beginning ... we had that energy, we got back and we were alert but then it kind of fell off in the second half."

Knight finished with 18 points. Forward Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks (7-28) with 20 points. Shooting guard O.J. Mayo added 13 and forward Khris Middleton 10 for Milwaukee, which lost for the sixth time in seven games.

"Right now, we're a team that just doesn't know how to win," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "We did things in the first half that were good but in the second half, we came out and reverted to our old ways: shot-selection; not getting back and challenging the ball in the backcourt defensively ... those are just bad habits. We were right on the money in the first half but we came back out and reverted back to bad habits."

Lee started hot, sinking his first nine shots from the field. Midway through the second quarter, he made a short jumper that gave the Warriors a 46-36 lead.

With Lee setting the pace, Golden State shot 55 percent from the field and took a 50-48 lead into the break.

The Warriors went up by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before the Bucks began to whittle the deficit, getting within eight on Mayo's 3-pointer with 9:23 to play.

Forward Marreese Spaights restored the double-digit lead and forward Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 84-71 with 8:28 left and Milwaukee never challenged again.

"That was the message at the end of the first half: start the third quarter with energy," Drew said. "We came out and were flat-lined. They got on a good run and we just couldn't overcome the deficit."

NOTES: Warriors C Andrew Bogut played at the Bradley Center for the first time since March 2012 when he was traded by the Bucks to the Warriors for G Monta Ellis. Bogut traveled to Milwaukee with Golden State last season but did not play because injury. He was selected first overall by the Bucks in the 2005 draft. .... Bogut has shot 50 percent or better from the field in his last 24 games, a career high. ... Milwaukee F Ersan Ilyasova made a 3-pointer with 7:05 left in the first quarter, snapping an 0-for-20 skid from beyond the arc. Ilyasova came into the game having made just 16.3 percent (8-of-49) of his 3-point attempts this season after hitting 44.8 percent of his long-range attempts the last two seasons. ... The Warriors can become the first team in NBA history to go undefeated on a seven-game road trip with a victory Wednesday at Brooklyn.
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