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Game Preview: Warriors vs. Bucks - 11/8/18

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TWO OF THE BEST
Thursday’s matchup between the Warriors and Bucks will be a meeting of two of the top teams in the league. The teams have combined for just three losses this season and are ranked first (Warriors +13.6) and second (Bucks +12.0) in terms of net rating, which measures a team’s point differential per 100 possessions. This will mark this season’s first of two meetings between the Dubs and Milwaukee after each team won on the other’s home floor a year ago.

THROWING IT BACK
The showdown with the Bucks will mark this season’s first Throwback Thursday at Oracle Arena. As the team celebrates 47 seasons at Oracle Arena, the Warriors will celebrate past teams and eras in franchise history. This time, the Dubs will honor the 70s and Hall of Famer Rick Barry, who was, among other career accomplishments, the 1975 NBA Finals MVP for the Dubs’ first NBA Championship on the West Coast. The first 10,000 fans in attendance of Thursday’s game will receive a Rick Barry lapel pin, while all fans attending the game will receive a commemorative Rick Barry poster.

LAST TIME OUT
Klay Thompson had 27 points and Alfonzo McKinnie made some big shots during a game-changing run in the third quarter of the Dubs' 117-101 win over the Grizzlies on Monday. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW MIL
10-1 8-2
1st in West 2nd in East
PTS: 123.5 (1st) PTS: 120.0 (2nd)
REB: 47.0 (8th) REB: 53.2 (1st)
AST: 30.5 (1st) AST: 26.4 (2nd)

PROBABLE STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Damian Jones
MIL: Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles rehab), Shaun Livingston (right foot soreness) and Draymond Green (sprained toe, right foot) are out. Team Notes
MIL: N/A. Team Notes

DO THE MATH
If good offense beats good defense, that might explain why the Warriors are tied with Toronto for the best record in the league at 10-1. The Warriors have scored more than 100 points in 10 of their 11 games this season – they’re 10-0 in those games. The Warriors have shot better than 50 percent in seven games this season – they’re 7-0 in those games. The Dubs have made at least 10 3-pointers nine times this season – they’re 9-0 in those games. Of course, we’re only a little over an eighth of the way through the season, so there are sure to be some disturbances to those unblemished marks. But the fact is that the Dubs’ offense is humming. Their offensive rating of 120.0 points per 100 possessions is tops in the league, nearly five points better than that of the second most efficient offense (Charlotte, 115.1).

TEAM LEADERS

GSW MIL
PTS: Curry (31.3) PTS: Antetokounmpo (25.8)
REB: Durant (7.5) REB: Antetokounmpo (13.3)
AST: Green (7.9) AST: Bledsoe (6.3)

MILWAUKEE SCOUTING REPORT
The Bucks were the last team to lose a game this season, but have been defeated in two of their last three games. Giannis Antetokounmpo has emerged as an early season MVP candidate, leading the team in scoring and rebounding, and he isn’t far from topping the club in assists. Antetokounmpo is the best player on a team that ranks second in the league in scoring, behind only the Warriors. Khris Middleton has turned into a 3-point marksman, averaging close to four splashes for a team that leads the NBA with 15.6 treys per contest. Adding to the team's overall range is veteran center Brook Lopez, who knocked down six threes in Tuesday's loss in Portland. As good as Milwaukee has been on offense this season, they might be better defensively. Their 102.1 defensive rating is third in the NBA, and they are the only Eastern Conference team to be in the league's top five in both offensive and defensive rating. It’s only November, but this game is already shaping up to be one to circle on this season’s NBA schedule.

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