In some crazy alternate universe that only Alfred Hitchcock could dream of, Drew Gooden plays the most dominating player in the NBA, becoming the force people thought he would be coming out of Kansas. Today, that fantasy came true.
The perennial journeyman that teams want, don’t want, then want again, was a beast in the paint, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, with his last one securing the win for the Bucks.
With less than a minute left, the Warriors finally stopped Bogut without fouling him. Unfortunately, Bogut's 3rd missed attempt bounced in Gooden's direction. Gooden easily plucked the ball from over the top of the undersized Reggie Williams, who was not boxing out anyone.
The Warriors clearly missed David Lee’s rebounding as 4 out of the 5 starters on the Bucks grabbed 10 rebounds or more. The Warriors were outrebounded 58-42 and the offensive rebounding differential was 19-11.
But to the Bucks credit, they studied their film and took away the Warriors bread and butter early on, preventing them from getting into any rhythm. Packing the paint, Bogut easily drew at least 5 foul calls. As the Warriors gradually mounted their run early in the fourth quarter, knocking the 19 point deficit down to 7 on several three point buckets by Vladimir Radmanovic and Charlie Bell, Bogut continually thwarted the Warriors by drawing charges calls, slowing their momentum.
Bogut controlled the paint drawing charges. But he also stepped out to the perimeter, recovering from Vladimir Radmanovic’s pump fake to block his 3 point attempt to cut the lead to 2 with 30 seconds to go in the game. Bogut finished the night with only 8 points, but had 17 rebounds and 5 blocks.
The calls by the referees were at times questionable as Warriors players a good 10 inches shorter than Bogut were getting called for charges against him. One particular occasion, Radmanovic drove to the hoop at half speed and as he slowed after making his pass, bumping into Luc Richard Mbah a Moute standing in front him, the referees were quick with the whistle. On the other end, Brandon Jennings drove wildly into traffic throwing up a layup sending Curry to the floor, but there was no call at all.
Monta Ellis finished the game with 24 points and 8 assists, but he also had 7 turnovers. His frustration was obvious throughout the game, but he continued to play tough defense and got his teammates involved.
The Warriors best perimeter shooters, Dorell Wright and Stephen Curry, combined for 5-28 shooting.
Rookie PF Jeff Adrien provided valuable minutes, playing a career high 19 minutes, grabbing 8 rebounds and scoring 6 points. Without Lee, Adrien’s hustle, particularly on the second chance points, was instrumental in helping the Warriors climb out of their 19 point deficit. Adrien also contributed 2 blocks.
Radmanovic, who has been ineffective as of late, nailed two key three pointers early in the fourth to cut the lead.