The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for a blockbuster clash between title contenders Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.

NBA Tips – Golden State Warriors @ Milwaukee Bucks

11:30 (AEDT), Fri 14th Jan @ Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

History: Played 156: Bucks 94 V Warriors 62

Last meeting: April 6, 2021: Warriors 122 d Bucks 121 at Chase Center

Final Thoughts: In a potential NBA Finals preview, Milwaukee Bucks host Golden State Warriors in the heavyweights’ first encounter of the season.

The 26-17 Bucks are third in the East but have followed up a six-game winning streak by losing four of their last five. Their bizarre run of results in January include a home loss to the battling Pistons, an impressive away win over the Nets and consecutive road defeats to the Hornets.

Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 43 points (his second-highest tally of the season) in the defending champs’ 114-106 loss in Charlotte on the weekend. Khris Middleton (27 pts, 7 reb, 11 ast, 3 stl) and Antetokounmpo (26 pts, 13 reb, 8 ast) couldn’t prevent a 103-99 defeat to the Hornets two nights later.

The 30-10 Warriors, too, have slipped over the past week. They dropped to second in the West after losing three of their last four. Klay Thompson made his long-awaited return in a 96-82 home win over the Cavaliers, but the absence of Draymond Green’s defensive prowess and ball distribution was palpable in a 116-108 loss in Memphis two days ago.

Green remains on the sidelines with Juan Toscano-Anderson taking his chance in the starting line-up. Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez are still out for the Bucks, but Bobby Portis is doing a solid job as the stand-in starting big man.

The Bucks have won four of their last six against the Warriors. They romped to a 138-99 win at home last season, before the Dubs bounced back to take out a 122-121 thriller in San Francisco.

The Bucks are 13-7 at home (just 7-13 against the start), dropping their last two at Fiserv Forum. The Warriors are 12-7 on the road (9-9-1) after losing their last three away.

Thompson’s return completes Golden State’s Championship-contending picture. But Green’s importance to this team has been underlined again recently; the Warriors are 2-4 without him on the season. Their elite-level defence not the same with Dray on the sidelines. Giannis and the Bucks can take full advantage as only a narrow favourite at home.

Best Bet: Result – Bucks @ $1.85

Same Game Multi: Result – Bucks; Total – Under 222.5; Khris Middleton Points – Over 20.5; Klay Thompson Points – Over 13.5; Giannis Antetokounmpo Rebounds – Over 11.5 @ $29.35

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