OAKLAND -- The life of the Warriors’ win streak ended at eight games, and it came without mercy.
The physically imposing Milwaukee Bucks came into Oracle Arena on Thursday night and dropped the defending NBA champions 134-111 behind a display of authority seldom seen in the Steve Kerr era.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry left in the third quarter with a left adductor strain and did not return.
Klay Thompson seemed the least bothered by the activity, scoring a team-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.
Here are three takeaways from a loss that hurt the Warriors (10-2) in more ways than one:
Curry and Durant were really, really bothered
Curry and Kevin Durant specialize in making opponents look dazed, confused and helpless. They were force-fed some of their own stuff. Milwaukee’s length and mass basically boxed Durant in, and he couldn’t get out.
Durant made several attempts to get going and never reached the level we’re accustomed to seeing. He forced a few passes and failed spectacularly. He totaled 17 points (6-of-15 shooting) and had nine assists but also six turnovers. In the ‘That’s Incredible’ dept., he also had two of his shots blocked.
The Bucks are too good for the Warriors to beat without Curry and Durant playing at their usual level, which leads us to ...
They really, really missed Draymond Green
This was one of those losses that shined a bright light on Green's value. His absence was glaring, and there simply was no way to offset it.
Green is the team's human seltzer tablet. He makes the Warriors fizz at both ends, and when they’re fizzing, the sizzling usually follows. The defense crackles with intensity, and the offense flows into a cascade of points.
In Green’s place, the Warriors started Jordan Bell. He was the most logical candidate, and he did not come close to delivering what was needed. He picked up two fouls inside the first five minutes and did not return until the third quarter.
Bell played 22 minutes and finished with four points, five rebounds, three assists and four fouls. Kevon Looney was more productive, with eight points, five rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes. Neither was able to being the energy generally supplied by Green, though, and it showed.
The Bucks are going to be a load
The Warriors generally have difficulty finding their best stuff against Milwaukee. Simply put, the Bucks are a bad physical matchup.
But this game was an announcement to the rest of the NBA. The Bucks are long, they’re hyperactive, and now, under coach Mike Budenholzer, they are confident. There is a swagger to this team that was evident from the opening tip.
It’s not easy to come into Oracle, where the Warriors were 6-0 this season, and smoke the home team. The Bucks did. And in doing so, they further validated themselves as no less than a top-three team in the Eastern Conference.
The Warriors will see them only once more this season -- unless, of course, there is a highly significant meeting in June.