Down by double digits early on, the Golden State Warriors never really worry; not when they know Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can light up at any time and through their barrage of outside shooting, it seems no lead is too great for them to erase, bringing them to a 102-87 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Curry scored 34 points (4-of-6 from beyond the arc) and Klay Thompson had 22 (3-of-6 from long range), as the Warriors played without both David Lee and Andrew Bogut, which made things very difficult early on.
The Bulls’ excellent defense and surprising offense early on helped them build a 29-16 first quarter and grab a 34-18 lead early in the second. However, their offense is never too consistent over the last couple of seasons, and quickly folded, putting too much pressure on the defense to hold everything together. The Warriors brought Jordan Crawford and Harrison Barnes off the bench to provide a spark that lasted them the entire game.
We were just trying to stay positive. No point in sulking and pouting. Nobody’s really got time for that during the game. We were talking to each other, trying to figure out what was going on, what we needed to do differently, and it worked out. Just intensity and sticking to the game plan and being physical and not having any mental lapses to get over that hump. And then we were able to come out in the second half and repeat that.
The 16 points home loss to the Bobcats from two nights prior to the game against the Bulls was still ringing strong in the head of Mark Jackson and his players. However, they didn’t give up on defense and never turned away from their strengths on offense, and eventually the Bulls, turning the ball over 15 times and shooting poorly from the outside, couldn’t hang on to their lead.
There was a brief moment in the fourth quarter when it seemed like we were going to have a close finish: Tony Snell and Jimmy Butler hit consecutive 3-pointers to bring the lead down to six (85-91) but Jordan Crawford with a three pointer ended that momentum, with Curry and Butler trading shots at the end to seal the win for the Warriors, reaching 30 wins this season.
Aside from Curry with his 34 points and nine assists, the Warriors got a very good game from Andre Iguodala, who continues to be point-shy (7 points) but is doing everything else pretty well, adding 8 rebounds and 6 assists not to mention some excellent defense. Harrison Barnes scored 11 points off the bench, and so did Jordan Crawford. An interesting tidbit about Thompson and Curry – they broke an NBA record for teammates who each hit a 3-point field goal in a game, making it 30 in a row. Paul George and George Hill each made three-pointers in 29 consecutive games for the Pacers last season.
On the statistical bright side for the Bulls, who had Taj Gibson (playing 46 minutes because of Boozer missing due to injury) with 26 points and 13 rebounds, Jimmy Butler on the floor for 47 minutes and Joakim Noah with a double-double of 10 rebounds and 11 assists, the third no-points double-double we’ve seen this season.