MILWAUKEE (AP) — Draymond Green knew what was coming.
Golden State was up by two and had to defend an inbounds pass from the Milwaukee Bucks with 10.1 seconds left on the Warriors’ side of the court. Green had the assignment of guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ athletic 6-foot-11 forward.
Green tipped away the pass, Klay Thompson secured the loose ball before hitting two critical foul shots, and the Warriors held on to beat Milwaukee 124-121 on Saturday night for their seventh straight victory.
“That’s what Draymond does. He sees the game. He knows what’s coming,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “All I saw was that he got a hand on it and Klay ended up with it. I’ve seen that before. Draymond is unbelivable in those situations.”
Kevin Durant scored 33 points, while Thompson had 25 of his 29 in the second half.
But they had to hold off a late charge by the Bucks after leading by as much as 14 points. Jabari Parker and Antetokounmpo led a 13-4 run in the fourth quarter that cut it to 122-120 with about 2 ½ minutes left on Parker’s three-point play.
“The guys fought for 48 minutes,” coach Jason Kidd said.
Rowdy Bucks fans had designs of an upset of Golden State at the Bradley Center, just like last season. The teams exchanged empty possessions before Green’s sparkling defensive effort with 10 seconds left.
“Once Giannis was down on the block, I already knew what they were running. I was just waiting on them to pass the ball in,” Green said.
Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points, while Parker had 28.
“There’s no satisfaction, we’ve got to keep getting better,” Antetokounmpo said. “As a team we’re not a finished product yet.”
Warriors: Durant gave the Warriors a brief scare after he got up slowly after bumping into Parker with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Trainers appeared to be looking at Durant’s leg during a timeout, and Durant stayed in the game. He looked fine after running down the lane for a dunk that gave the Warriors an 85-78 lead with 5:58 left in the period. Durant had 25 points in the first half on 8-of-10 shooting. … Golden State won its third straight road game despite a subpar shooting night for Stephen Curry, who was 1 of 11 from behind the arc. Curry finished with 20 points.
Bucks: The Bucks trailed 69-66 at halftime in spite of a season-high offensive output in the first half. It was also a season-high points allowed in the first half for Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo had 16 before halftime, when the Bucks shot 59 percent. A 37-point first quarter was also a season-high for that quarter for the Bucks.
Kerr issued a good-natured, last-minute challenge to Bucks fans before the game.
Kerr said that if a fan showed up with a “10-3” shirt, he would give that fan two tickets to a Golden State home game, though there were several other stipulations, too. First and foremost, the Bucks had to win.
The Warriors were 10-2 entering Saturday night’s game. Kerr’s dare was in reference to how Bucks fans confidently wore “24-1” shirts ahead of the Warriors’ visit last season to Milwaukee on Dec. 12.
“I am not giving them a plane ticket, or a place to stay, but I’ll give (them) a couple tickets to a game,” Kerr said.
He never had to follow through.
“You feed off that energy. You need that as a team … Whoever believes in us and wants us to be great, hopefully they can come to the arena and watch us play.” — Antetokounmpo about the energetic fans in the fourth quarter.
Warriors: Wrap up a four-game road trip with a visit to the Indiana Pacers on Monday.
Bucks: Host Orlando on Monday. The Bucks have won seven of their last eight home games against the Magic.
Follow Genaro Armas at: https://twitter.com/GArmasAP