Wed. Final: Warriors 119, Bucks 96
Next game: Saturday, December 13 vs. Indiana
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Marco Belinelli's achingly perfect jumper from behind the backboard just rubbed it in for the Milwaukee Bucks. They couldn't keep up when the Golden State Warriors finally played their beautiful game in the fourth quarter.
Stephen Jackson scored 21 points, C.J. Watson added 19 and the Warriors won their second straight after a nine-game losing streak, 119-96 over the slumping Bucks on Wednesday night.
With Belinelli leading the way in a breakout performance, Golden State wrapped up consecutive victories for just the second time all season. Their fourth quarter showcased everything that's good about the free-flowing, aggressive game championed by coach Don Nelson.
The Warriors haven't done it much this season, struggling with injuries and adjusting to the offseason machinations that altered the roster of a solid club. But in outscoring Milwaukee 37-15 in the fourth quarter, Golden State showed it can still play Nelson's game effectively -- particularly with surprising help from reserves like Belinelli and Kelenna Azubuike, who scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth.
"We started to be aggressive, and when we're aggressive, we win games," said Belinelli, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the final period, adding a handful of stunning passes. "For me, when I have my opportunities, I can do something to help this team. I believe in all of our people. We're young, we like to run, and if we stay aggressive, we can win games."
Andris Biedrins had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Warriors, who pulled away with a 22-5 run to begin the fourth after leading just 82-81 entering the period. Belinelli put Golden State up 115-90 with his behind-the-backboard trick shot, but the Warriors relied on old-fashioned ball movement and timely defense for most of the surge.
Anthony Morrow scored 16 points as Golden State followed up Monday's road win at Oklahoma City with an impressive finish against Milwaukee. Jackson was back in the Warriors' lineup after missing the game against the Thunder because of a sprained left hand, but Corey Maggette missed his second straight game with a strained right hamstring.
"We've started to play the kind of ball we have the last two years, and it's starting to show," Jackson said. "We've just got to build on it."
Michael Redd scored 27 points for the Bucks, who lost all three games on their West Coast trip. Milwaukee has dropped seven of nine overall.
Richard Jefferson scored 17 points, and Luke Ridnour added 13 for Milwaukee in another meeting between the clubs that played two preseason games in China in October. Redd and Ridnour both drove the lane with unaccustomed authority, drawing fouls by breaking down the Warriors' unenthusiastic perimeter defense, before everything fell apart in the fourth quarter.
"They made their 3s and they played well, getting to the basket for easy layups," Redd said. "These were back-to-back games for us on the road, (and) for them, there's something about home cooking that energizes you. We'll stay positive and we'll stay focused. We had a good summer, and this is definitely not the way we wanted to go at the start. We need to turn that around."
Milwaukee erased a 14-point deficit in a 6 1/2-minute stretch of the third, tying it on Redd's breakaway dunk with 2:12 left. Andrew Bogut had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks, but went scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee was 7-for-23 in the final period, with its starters running out of energy against the Warriors' reserves early in the fourth.
"We don't yet get how hard you have to play and how focused you have to be for a period of time to win an NBA game," Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. "This is a good group of guys, and we just have to learn that toughness."
Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf each blocked four shots. Jamal Crawford struggled in his second home game for the Warriors, going 2-for-8 before sitting out the fourth quarter.
Notes: Jackson got a technical foul for arguing in the first half, but Redd missed the free throw -- his only miss in nine attempts. ... Jackson said his injured hand is "not really making progress." He also aggravated an injured toe. ... Austin Croshere, a Bucks benchwarmer this season, did the same job for Golden State last season. ... Even with their dismal record, the Warriors are packing Oracle Arena, drawing 18,375 fans for this unlikely game.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)