Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Nets begins at 4:00pm on CSN Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live.
On a night when the Warriors ran their win streak to 10 games, the Splash Brothers were a modestly intriguing sideshow.
While Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were as cold as the sub-zero temperatures in Wisconsin on Tuesday, David Lee and Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut brought the heat in a 101-80 demolition of the hapless Milwaukee Bucks.
The frontcourt combined to make 17 of 21 shots in what collectively was their most efficient offensive performance of the season. Iguodala made all three of his field-goal attempts for 11 points, Bogut was 4 of 6 for eight points and Lee made his first nine before leaving the Bradley Center floor with 22 points (and 18 rebounds) on 10-of-12 shooting.
Lee was particularly dominant inside, where he used quickness and guile and hustle to run circles around the tepid Milwaukee defense.
"Our team needs me to be more aggressive in the paint," Lee said. "Because we've got so many guys that are good jump shooters, we need someone around the rim that's going to be aggressive and attack the basket. That, in turn, opens up a lot of our shooters as the game goes on."
Lee was the constant throughout a game that stayed relatively close until the Warriors (24-13) repeated their recent pattern of waking at the half, huffing and puffing on defense and blowing away the dregs of the NBA. A 16-2 run built an 18-point lead in third quarter that was too much for the Bucks (7-27) to overcome.
"The second-half defense, especially, was special," coach Mark Jackson said. "Can't remember the numbers, but under 30 (points) and shooting a poor percentage, too. Ultimately, for the game, they were 38 percent after starting off 55-59 percent. So I was very pleased with what we did in that second half."
The precise numbers were this: Milwaukee shot 30 percent in the second half, 33.3 in the third quarter and 25 in the fourth. The Warriors after halftime held the Bucks to 32 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter. Both the half and quarter figures are season lows for the Warriors' defense.
The victory was the 10th in a row for the Warriors, tying a streak built by the 1975-76 team that won a league-best and franchise record 59 games.
THE GOOD: Lee continued his phenomenal play of late and is making a legitimate push to be named to the Western Conference All-Star team. The defense, once again, appeared when needed, turning a close game into a Warriors runaway.
THE BAD: Curry missed 13 of 18 shots and Thompson missed 12 of 18 shots, as the Splash Brothers combined for 3-of-17 shooting from 3-point range.
THE TAKE: A 10-game win streak requires considerable skill, a lot of tenacity and some luck. The Warriors are displaying all three in finding a way to defeat quality teams and bury the many bad teams they've seen over the past couple weeks. They yearn to be an elite team, and games like this keep them on that path.