The Warriors will be without Stephen Curry when they open a five-game road trip Friday against the young and athletic Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 5:05.
The Warriors (33-9) are coming off probably their worst performance of the season, a 125-106 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, who were without four starters. Neither Stephen Curry nor Klay Thompson suited up. Thompson, however, will return to the lineup.
The Bucks (22-18) are one of the more intriguing teams in the Eastern Conference, largely because of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a 23-year-old forward destined to become a perennial All-Star. Milwaukee is 18-12 since acquiring point guard Eric Bledsoe in November.
Warriors by 5.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Kevin Durant vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Both are long (6-foot-11), athletic, supremely talented and rank in the top 10 in PER. Durant is the most complete scorer in the game. Antetokounmpo’s skills match or exceed those of Durant in most areas except pure shooting and blocking shots. Though Durant is listed at small forward and Antetokounmpo at power forward, they will see plenty of each other.
Warriors: F Omri Casspi (back soreness) is listed as questionable. G Stephen Curry (R ankle sprain) is listed as out.
Bucks: F Jabari Parker (L knee surgery rehab) and F Mirza Teletovic (pulmonary emboli) are listed as out.
Ed Malloy (crew chief), Kevin Cutler, Lauren Holtkamp
This is the first meeting this season. The Warriors swept the two-game series last season and have won seven of the last eight meetings overall. They are 2-1 in Milwaukee since Steve Kerr arrived in 2014-15.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE SEARCH FOR D: Though the Warriors have been a top-four defensive team five years running, they haven’t looked the part lately. They’ve won five of their last seven while allowing an average of 117.0 points per game. Their rating during that stretch is a ghastly 112.1 and only one opponent failed to top 46 percent from the field. They’ve fallen into the dangerous trap of trying to outscore opponents.
PROTECT THE BALL: The Warriors are prone to turnovers, committing 15.6 per game; only the Lakers and 76ers commit more. Moreover, opponents are scoring 18.4 points per game off the gifts. This invites trouble against the Bucks, who are sixth percentage of forced turnovers and eighth in converting them into points.
ROAD STREAK: The Warriors recall their win streak to start the 2015-16 season ended at 24 in Milwaukee. Now another streak is at stake. They’ve won 10 in a row on the road, by an average margin of 11.2 points. Their 17-3 road record makes them the first team to win 17 of its first 20 road games in three consecutive seasons.