By Gabe Schapiro
The Golden State Warriors (30-20) overcame a sluggish start, easing their way over the Chicago Bulls (24-25), 102-87, Thursday night, at Oracle Arena. The Warriors were without their two best big men, an already thin position, as Andrew Bogut and David Lee sat out due to injuries. Jermaine O’Neal and Draymond Green got the starts in their place. Despite the depleted roster, Golden State made much of the game look easy in a nice bounce back win.
The Bulls quickly opened up a 15-point lead in the first quarter, as the Warriors had an ugly start. The mood seemed grim, as it looked like it could be another poor outing for the scuffling Dubs squad. In the waning minutes of the first they seemed to slowly start righting the ship, ultimately carrying their regained composure through the rest of the game.
After chipping away at the lead in the second quarter, Golden State grabbed their first lead with 47 seconds left in the half. By the time the buzzer went off they had turned a 13-point deficit into a four-point advantage. They never turned back, building on their lead at the end of the third, and ultimately cruising to the victory with a strong fourth.
With two starters out, Stephen Curry stepped up with a great game. He scored a game-high 34 points on 13-19 shooting, 4-6 from three-point range, to go along with nine assists.
The other half of the splash brothers, Klay Thompson, did his part as well. He chipped in 22 points, 3-6 beyond the arc, to go with solid defense.
Harrison Barnes, who has been struggling as of late, had a good game off the bench. He scored 11, including a big three-pointer late to hammer the last nail into the Bulls coffin. He added six rebounds and two steals, in 29 minutes. Jordan Crawford also played well, scoring another 11 points in 21 minutes.
Four Chicago players finished in double figures, led by a double-double from Taj Gibson. He notched 26 points and 14 rebounds. Joakim Noah accomplished the rare rebounds-assists double-double, finishing with just seven points, but 10 boards and 11 assists.
The Warriors hope this is step one in regaining some consistency to their play. They’ve got the Phoenix Suns next up on the docket, when they travel to Arizona this Saturday, February 8. The game begins at 6:00 pm.