OAKLAND — Warriors coach Mark Jackson insisted that beating the Bucks was a good win. The reason? His team had struggled against such Eastern Conference teams at home before, and frankly, these are games the Warriors might have lost in the past.
“As a coach, you’re not going to be satisfied with giving up 35 points in fourth quarter, but I’m also not going to nitpick,” Jackson said. “The bottom line is we made progress because we beat two teams that we were supposed to beat in our building (Orlando and Milwaukee this week).”
The Warriors of course didn’t want the game to be such a close one. But Jackson noted that Milwaukee, a team with nothing to play for, played loose and had something to prove just like it did when it took Portland to overtime before losing two days earlier. The Warriors tried to deliver knockout blows, but simply couldn’t do it until the final minute when Klay Thompson hit a big 3-pointer.
The Warriors are now a season-high 18 games over .500, something the team hasn’t achieved in 20 years. Jackson, who had previously downplayed the mark, fully embraced it after getting the win against the Bucks.
“We’re going to enjoy the ride,” Jackson said. “We’re going to appreciate all the things that we’re able to accomplish as a team, as a unit because you can take it for granted. There’s people (fans) that are 19 years old that have never seen this. That’s a ‘wow’ moment. It’s an incredible accomplishment.
Stephen Curry, who led the Warriors with 31 points, also noted the positive signs that emerged in a game that admittedly could have been won in prettier fashion.
He noted that when teammates got frustrated on defense, they held each other accountable and openly talked about it,.
“Guys care, and they want to get better,” Curry said. “And so we don’t execute, we call each other out. We encourage that so that we can get better, and that happened tonight.
“I never felt like we panicked or got out of sorts at all, which is a good sign that we are pretty confident in how we’re playing.”