Taj Gibson vs. Golden State

Bulls fall to Warriors, 123-92

Wade and Butler did not play as Bulls drop to 26-27 on the season

By Sam Smith

The Bulls Wednesday attempted to be warriors, but they didn’t have enough fight to match the Golden State Warriors and lost 123-92.

The shorthanded Bulls fell back under .500 at 26-27 and 2-2 on this Western Conference trip. The Warriors never trailed and kept going their streak of not losing back to back regular season games since April 2015. They moved to 44-8.

The Bulls were led by Robin Lopez with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Taj Gibson with 15 points. Rajon Rondo had 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Michael Carter-Williams after back to back games of at least 20 points had three points on one of nine shooting. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 28 points. The Warriors were 15 of 28 on threes while the Bulls were four of 24 from long range.

Jimmy Butler missed his third consecutive game on this road trip with a heel injury. Also out of the starting lineup was Dwyane Wade, who came down with an infection making the rounds on the team. Their status remained uncertain for Friday’s game in Phoenix. So the Bulls stayed with Carter-Williams starting for Butler and Paul Zipser getting his fifth start, coming in for Wade.  Zipser would leave in the first half with an ankle injury. Ironman Lopez was at center, the only Bull to play in every game with Gibson at forward. Grant remained at point guard. Despite missing the 44 points from Butler and Wade, the Bulls had the game tied at 11 halfway through the first quarter after Grant was fouled on a running dunk attempt and made two free throws. But the Warriors then ran off 13 straight points and led 30-17 after one quarter with JaVale McGee having eight. The Bulls without their top scorers shot just 33 percent in the quarter. The Bulls stayed within range into the second quarter despite their mixed lineups with Isaiah Canaan back playing and Denzel Valentine first off the bench. Canaan’s jumper got the Bulls within 32-24 early in the second quarter before Kevin Durant getting inside and Draymond Green with a pair of threes and a running dunk off missed Bulls pick and roll coverage that carried the Warriors to a 46-32 lead. Valentine shot two of 11 overall and one of seven on threes. Rondo had a nice driving reverse layup and Gibson powering inside for a dunk. The Bulls did reasonably well cutting down Golden State’s break. But the Warriors also defend aggressively and weren’t leaving the Bulls open for many good shots. Golden State took a 55-41 lead into the second half with no Bulls player scoring in double figures.

The Warriors came out fast to open the second half with a pair of Thompson threes for a 63-43 lead. But again the Bulls stayed in the game, scoring seven straight and an overall 13-6 run to be within 69-56. Though it was too much Kevin Durant as the big free agent rumbled in for a pair of driving dunks. Lopez kept the Bulls competitive with inside scoring, but the Warriors still rolled into the fourth quarter leading 86-70 and then blew out to the big advantage in the fourth quarter.

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

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