Jennings, Ellis lead Bucks past Warriors, 103-93
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Monta Ellis dazzled off the dribble. He wowed with his midair acrobatics. At one point, he even banked in a 3-pointer, then mouthed a few words at Golden State Warriors co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber sitting courtside.
"It just feels like I'm at home," Ellis said.
Ellis had 26 points, five assists and five rebounds against his previous team to help the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Warriors 103-93 on Saturday night. The former fan favorite teased and pleased a sellout crowd of 19,596 inside Oracle Arena behind a new undersized backcourt teammate that matched his every move and more.
Brandon Jennings added 31 points and 10 assists, and J.J. Redick finished with 15 points and seven assists while hitting some big shots late to carry the Bucks (31-29) to their fifth win in six games.
"I loved it," said Ellis, who shot 10 of 19 from the field. "I was here 7½ years. I did everything I could for this team, and they appreciated it and I appreciate them. Even though we had bad seasons, they still came out here and supported us."
In a matchup of teams transformed by last season's trade, Milwaukee has owned the matchup.
The Bucks are 3-0 against the Warriors since sending center Andrew Bogut to the Bay Area for Ellis. He received a big assist in the latest matchup from Jennings, who was 10-of-16 shooting, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc.
Bogut had four points, four assists and nine rebounds in 29 minutes in his first game against the Bucks since the trade. He didn't speak to reporters following the game, leaving before Warriors coach Mark Jackson's news conference had ended.
"When it gets to a point of closing out games, the stakes are going to be raised, the pressure's going to come. You've got to be able to embrace it and handle it. And right now, we're not," Jackson said.
Klay Thompson scored 18 points and Carl Landry had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors in place of David Lee. The All-Star forward sat out with a bruised right knee but is hopeful to return Monday night against the New York Knicks.
After losing at home to Houston on Friday night, Golden State's bid for playoff positioning is starting to dwindle. The Warriors (35-29) are a game ahead of the Rockets for sixth place in the Western Conference but only 2½ in front of the hard-charging Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, who are tied for eighth.
"We put ourselves in position to have some room to work with, but you can't play around with that," said Stephen Curry, who had 16 points and 10 assists.
Milwaukee was also without its starting power forward. Ersan Ilyasova missed the game with a left knee injury that occurred in a loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. He is day to day.
After falling behind by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Warriors rallied back — briefly. Thompson made a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper to slice Milwaukee's lead to 86-85 midway through the quarter.
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