MILWAUKEE — Golden State forward David Lee is making his presence felt and giving a team with many weapons another dimension.
His play of late has reached All-Star caliber, Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson insisted after watching Lee lead Golden State to its 10th consecutive win Tuesday night, the Warriors longest streak since the 1975-76 season and one short of the franchise record of 11 wins in a row during the 1971-72 campaign.
Fresh off of being named the Western Conference Player of the Week, Lee dominated around the basket, scoring 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting and grabbing 18 rebounds to spark the Warriors to a 101-80 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
“I’ve said all along that (Stephen) Curry is an All-Star, there’s no question about that. But the way that David Lee has played the last 15 ball games, he’s an All-Star,” Jackson said. “He has separated himself.”
Lee hit his first nine shots from the field and recorded his 21st double-double of the season.
“I’m trying to be more aggressive and I think our team needs me to be more aggressive in the paint,” Lee said. “We have so many guys that are good jump shooters, we need somebody around the rim that’s going to attack the basket. It’s all about taking what the defense gives us. Most importantly, I think our team is playing more consistent basketball.”
Curry contributed 15 points for the Warriors despite connecting on just 5 of 18 shots. Klay Thompson also scored 15 points, on 6-of-18 shooting.
“We’re not built offensively, we’re built defensively,” Jackson said. “You can have off nights offensively and still win ball games. We defended at a high level and when you do that good things happen.”
Golden State center Andrew Bogut, who had 12 rebounds and eight points, said he and Lee stress the importance of rebounding each time they take the court. Golden State outrebounded Milwaukee 54 to 37.
“We set a goal, David and myself, to win the rebound battle,” Bogut said.
The Warriors played their sixth game of a seven-city road trip that concludes Wednesday night in Brooklyn. Golden State is trying to become the first team in NBA history to go undefeated on a road trip of seven or more games.
“It’s this close so we’re going to chase history,” Jackson said. “My guys have paid the price and I’m incredibly proud of them.”
Golden State led by just two at the half against the Bucks, who have the NBA’s worst record.
The Warriors broke open the game with a 23-7 run to start the third quarter, highlighted by a step-back 3-pointer from the corner by Curry. Later in the quarter, Curry hit an acrobatic reverse layup while being fouled, extending Golden State’s lead to 19. The Warriors led 79-68 heading into the fourth.
A 3 by O.J. Mayo cut Golden State’s margin to eight to start the fourth, but the Warriors quickly built the lead back to double digits and cruised to victory. The Warriors led by as many as 22 late in the fourth.
Ersan Ilyasova had 20 points and Brandon Knight 18 for the Bucks.
“(The Warriors) have a lot of weapons and can beat you in a number of ways,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “I thought we did some good things, but we didn’t do it for the duration of the game. We had too many breakdowns, too many lapses and our margin for error is very small.”
Drew said he implored his team to play with high energy to start the second half, to no avail.
“We came out and were flat-lined. They got on a good run and we just couldn’t overcome the deficit,” Drew said.
Energetic play needs to be a team goal, Knight said.
“It has to be all five guys that are on the court,” he said. “We have to have everybody playing with as much energy as we can.”
Milwaukee grabbed a 30-28 lead after the first quarter, sparked by Knight’s 10 points.
Golden State opened the second quarter on a 10-0 run and went on to a 50-48 lead at the half. Golden State shot 55 percent from the field in the half, despite connecting on only 4 of 14 3-point attempts.
Knight had 13 first-half points for the Bucks and Ilyasova added 12.
NOTES: Ilyasova sank his first 3-point attempt of the game. He entered having misfired on 20 consecutive 3s. . Bogut, a No. 1 overall pick of the Bucks in 2005, played his first game in Milwaukee since a March 2012 trade that sent him to Golden State. … Drew said peace returned to the locker room following a dustup between teammates Larry Sanders and Gary Neal after Saturday’s blowout loss at Phoenix. “We’re back in love with one another. It’s a very emotional game and tempers do flare,” Drew said. “The most important thing is that there is no snowball effect. We make it an isolated incident.” . Draymond Green returned to the Golden State lineup after injuring his ankle early in Sunday’s win over Washington.