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Warriors Suffer Blowout Christmas Loss to Bucks

What we learned in Warriors’ blowout loss to Bucks on Xmas originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors got their second consecutive dose of championship quality basketball on Christmas Day, and while the results were the same, a lopsided loss, there was evident progress — at least in the first half.

In falling 138-99 to the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum, the Warriors showed more competitive spirit than on opening night but simply were the inferior team. The gap between the two was unmistakable in an abominable, white-flag second half.

The Warriors continue to get open looks and continue to miss them. They shot 22.2 percent (10-of-45) beyond the arc and 34.3 percent overall.

The high point? Rookie center James Wiseman delivered a second encouraging performance, with 18 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes.

Here are three takeaways from a loss that drops Golden State to 0-2, the first time since 2009 that they’ve opened consecutive seasons with back-to-back losses:

Disastrous defense

The defense, which has to be emphasized for the Warriors to compete, once again was wildly inconsistent. It’s solid for a possession or two, and then invisible for three or four. And don’t dare blame it on the absence of Draymond Green.

When the Warriors don’t look a step slow, or a beat late, they look undermanned. Caught flat-footed when they should be on alert. Watching off-the-ball action and losing contact with their assignments.

As they were limiting Giannis Antetokounmpo to 15 points on 4-of-14 shooting, his teammates were feasting. Milwaukee shot 54.9 percent from the field, including an astonishing 54.1 percent from deep.

Green is the defensive quarterback for a team currently without one. His return, anticipated Wednesday, will help. And right now, the Warriors need all the help they can get.

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