The Golden State Warriors were driven to win against the Milwaukee Bucks due to the embarrassment of a humbling home defeat in November, Klay Thompson and Steve Kerr revealed.
The Bucks triumphed 134-111 at Oracle Arena last month, but it was a different story in Milwaukee on Friday as the Warriors came out 105-95 winners on the road.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each put up 20 points and the latter confirmed the teams’ previous meeting was used as a source of motivation for Golden State.
“We were embarrassed,” Thompson told reporters. “We got smacked at home. That’s never fun.
“I thought we came out and played great tonight on both sides. Other than our high turnovers, we played amazing basketball. That’s how I feel.”
Coach Kerr believes the Warriors played “10 times harder” than in that prior defeat and had a similar explanation to Thompson for the champions’ improvement.
“They beat us by about 50 and we were embarrassed,” he said. “Our guys are competitive.
“We only play Eastern teams twice and we know which ones have a chance to be in the Finals, so we always want to play well against those particular teams, just in case we’re fortunate enough to get there and see one of them.”
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 8, 2018
Kerr now hopes Golden State (18-9) are well set to put together “a little run” after three straight wins.
“I really feel like this is a stretch where we can make some hay, get some momentum, get on a nice streak and get some rhythm to our game,” Kerr said.
“We still have improvement to make offensively — I don’t know how many turnovers we had in the first half – but I think we’re primed to get on a little run if we take care of our business.”
The Warriors coach was particularly pleased with his side’s defensive work and the way they dealt with Bucks danger man Giannis Antetokounmpo, although the forward still contributed 22 points and 15 rebounds.
“We just tried to stay in front of him and I think, overall, we did a pretty good job,” Kerr said of the Greek.
“He’s impossible to stop, but I thought we did a good job of mixing up, throwing some doubles at him, rotating the shooters and then, at times, staying whole and making him go right through us to score.
“We didn’t give him too many easy ones. All in all, it was a really good effort.”