The Golden State Warriors look to extend their two-game winning streak when they travel to face the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks, live on Sky Sports Arena on Saturday morning at 2:30am.
Live NBA: Golden State @ Milwaukee
The Warriors (17-9) welcomed All-Star guard Stephen Curry back from an 11-game injury absence and the two-time MVP hasn’t missed a beat, immediately returning to form with 27, 30 and 42-point performances.
Curry’s return has provided some relief for the Warriors, who failed to win a single road game in November. Blowout victories in Atlanta and Cleveland got Golden State extinguished their away day blues but they will face a much sterner test in Milwaukee.
The Bucks (16-7) sit second in the Eastern Conference and have already beaten the defending champions this season, a 134-111 hammering in Oakland on November 3.
Their franchise star Giannis Antetokounmpo has placed himself at the centre of the regular season MVP conversation with averages of 27.0 points, 13.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game.
Key Battle: Klay Thompson v Khris Middleton
This battle of ‘three and D’ guards will go some way to defining the outcome of what could be a high-scoring battle waged from beyond the three-point arc.
Middleton is a model of quiet consistency, contributing at both ends of the court. His prowess from three-point-range (he’s making 3.0 treys per game at 41.9 per cent) perfectly complements the aggressive, attack-the-rim style of Antetokounmpo.
Thompson’s two-way game mirrors that of Middleton and he has repeatedly shown his ability to win games from downtown. A 52-point outburst earlier in the season saw Thompson hit 14 three-balls, breaking his team-mate Curry’s record for most threes in a single NBA game.
Last time out
70.1 – That’s the combined averages of three-point attempts the Bucks (40.6) and the Warriors (29.5) make per game.
The Warriors make 39.1 per cent of their three-pointers, the best figure in the league this season.
The Bucks are nowhere near as accurate (they rank ninth in three-point shooting percentage) but they make up for it in volume, draining 14.6 treys per game, the most in the league.
One to watch (Warriors): Kevin Durant
Durant has been a model of consistency all season, providing efficient scoring to pace the Warriors and raising his output in the absence of the injured Curry and Draymond Green.
‘KD’ is an elite scorer and his mix of long-range threes, hesitation jumpers and drives to the basket make him an unstoppable offensive force.
One to watch (Bucks): Eric Bledsoe
Point guard Bledsoe fits the Bucks’ remit, a lengthy two-way player who scores efficiently (51.9 field goal percentage), distributes well (5.9 assists per game) and plays aggressive defense (1.4 steals per game).
The Bucks will hope Bledsoe can play the physical defense that could disrupt Curry’s offensive rhythm.
Friday night’s games
- Denver Nuggets @ Charlotte Hornets, 12am
- Philadelphia 76ers @ Detroit Pistons, 12am
- Indiana Pacers @ Orlando Magic, 12am
- Toronto Raptors @ Brooklyn Nets, 12:30am
- Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers, 12:30am
- Olkahoma City Thunder @ Chicago Bulls, 1am
- Memphis Grizzlies @ New Orleans Pelicans, 1am
- Los Angeles Lakers @ San Antonio Spurs, 1:30am
- Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns, 2am
- Golden State Warriors @ Milwaukee Bucks, 2:30am, live on Sky Sports Arena
Sky Sports is the new home of the NBA in the UK with live coverage throughout the week, including selected live games free to all Sky subscribers via Sky Sports Mix.