Playing without their starting frontcourt of Andrew Bogut and David Lee, the Warriors gutted out an impressive team victory on Thursday night, defeating the visiting Chicago Bulls 102-87. Stephen Curry led the way once again, notching his 14th 30-point game of the season with 34 points and nine assists. Klay Thompson found his shooting groove, tallying 22 points, including three three-pointers, while Draymond Green added nine points and seven rebounds in his first start of the season. The bench was led by Jordan Crawford and Harrison Barnes, who chipped in 11 points each. The win pushes the Dubs record to 30-20, and gives Mark Jackson his 100th career coaching victory. They’ll look to build on the momentum when they take on the Suns in Phoenix on Saturday.
On how they turned the game around after the first quarter:
“We defended. They shot 60 percent in the first quarter and 35 percent the rest of the way. We battled, made multiple effort plays and I’m proud of my guys for that. Very easy the way they started - I’ve seen teams that have folded the tent. My guys responded and held each other accountable. A quality win against a tough basketball team.”
On playing tonight without David Lee and Andrew Bogut:
“We are a no excuse basketball team, so whoever is in uniform it is a great opportunity for them to step up and take advantage of the opportunity in front them. Guys did that. I thought collectively we battled and took care of the basketball. The guys were ready. Jermaine (O’Neal) gave us great minutes, Draymond (Green) battled and even Mo (Marreese Speights) in the first half. The perimeter guys did their job.”
On if he was reminded how good Klay and Steph can be together:
“It’s not a reminder. I have no problem and I won’t forget how great of shooters Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry both are. That’s how they made it in this league. They are incredible shooters. I won’t forget and I will never tell them to stop shooting. It won’t happen. That’s somebody else in a suit and tie on the sideline. As long as I’m here they will have the green light. I believe in them, trust them and they have responded.”
On how they changed their pick-and-roll defense tonight:
“We put a bigger guy on Kirk Hinrich so now on the pick-and-roll it was with Andre Iguodala or Klay Thompson and then it would be Harrison Barnes or Draymond Green on Joakim Noah – so they were the same size. Our principles are not switching (on defense), but when they are the same size defenders we will switch. It was effective. Our perimeter guys did a great job of getting back into the picture and battling on the boards.”
On Harrison Barnes' fourth quarter:
“He made shots. I didn’t even realize he had 11 points in the fourth quarter. I thought early on he was pressing. I thought he was very patient in the second half, waited for his opportunities, allowed the ball to be swung to him and then made the defense pay the price. It’s great to see a young guy make plays and establish confidence and a rhythm. I believe in him and he’s going to play. I believe he’s going to have some big moments for us.”
On the comeback in the second quarter:
“It’s part of the process. You have to be able to handle trials, tribulations and adversity. It’s part of the process. Don’t let go of the rope, keep on fighting and good things will happen. They didn’t quit. I just took them to church.”
On gratification of responding to early Chicago charge:
“No question, especially when they came out strong. We were down by 12 or 15 points. We just clamped down on defense and trusted each other and helped each other. That’s what made us prevail, our defense.”
On team being 10 games over .500:
“We have a couple more home games. We have one on the road which is a big test for us against Phoenix so it’s really important for us to finish strong before the All-Star break and get as much momentum as we can before we have a nice little break.”
On getting a win missing key starters:
“It was a big win period. We’ve been struggling. We wanted to get a win against a tough team and play hard. We just wanted to fight together.”
On feeling comfortable on the team:
“Certain days I am. Certain days I still feel like the new guy. It’s tough, but we have time.”
On entering the game ready to shoot:
“That’s your job. They put you in and you can’t waste any time. We have to pick the first unit up so I just want to provide a spark.”
On team responding after poor first quarter:
“Sometimes it’s like that. You have a long game, 48 minutes is a long time, so just keep fighting and stay together. We came back.”
On his role on the team:
“Just be myself. Sometimes that calls me to score, other times make plays for other players. I just watch the game before I go in to see what I need to do.”
TIME TO BOUNCE BACK
The Warriors are back at Oracle for the second straight home game. Before heading to Phoenix, Golden State will take on the Bulls for the first of two meetings this month between the two teams. The Warriors will be looking to bounce back after losing five of their last seven home games, and they’ll be looking to do so against a Bulls team that has won seven of the last 10 games against the Dubs. However, the Warriors have won 11 of the last 14 head-to-head matchups at Oracle Arena. A limited number of tickets are still available for this nationally televised game, which will mark the third straight week that the Warriors are featured on TNT. GET TICKETS
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors struggled mightily in Tuesday’s 91-75 loss to the visiting Bobcats. Playing for the first time in four days, the Dubs showed tremendous signs of rust, shooting just 31.2 percent from the field and 4-for-20 on 3-pointers. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 17 points and 11 assists, but Klay Thompson was the only other Golden State player to score in double digits. GAME RECAP
BOGUT WORKING THE BOARDS
Despite the team’s recent struggles, Andrew Bogut has been playing at a high level in recent contests. He has grabbed at least 15 rebounds in three-straight games, becoming the first Warriors player to achieve that feat since Andris Biedrins in November of 2008. Bogut has averaged 9.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks over the last month, and he has worked his way into the NBA’s top 10 in several categories, including field goal percentage (second - .636), rebounding (eighth – 10.7 rpg) and blocked shots (seventh – 1.9 bpg). If Bogut can maintain that level of play, it will go a long way in turning around the Warriors’ current slump.
Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal returned to action on Tuesday after sitting out the previous eight weeks while recovering from right wrist surgery. The 17-year veteran center had nine points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes against the Bobcats and he’ll continue to be counted on for production off the bench as he plays his way back to 100 percent. His 6-foot-11 frame gives the Warriors’ reserve unit some much needed size, and his return will also give the team a quality defender to back up Andew Bogut.
CHICAGO SCOUTING REPORT
The Bulls bring one of the NBA’s most vaunted defenses to the Bay for the first of two matchups with the Warriors this season. Their 98.0 defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) ranks second in the NBA, and they’ve yielded the fourth fewest made 3-pointers. Playing the fifth of six-straight road games, the Bulls are anchored by All-Star center Joakim Noah and veteran Carlos Boozer. Noah is a defensive and rebounding machine for Chicago and Boozer has provided consistent production at the four-spot for each of his 12 years in the league. D.J. Augustin has picked up his play in the absence of injured superstar Derrick Rose, averaging 18.1 points and 6.1 assists over the last 14 games, and he’s part of a balanced offensive attack that features six players who average double figures in scoring (excluding Rose). Thursday’s game will be quite a test for the Warriors, but it will be one that the team needs to pass if they hope to break out of their current home slump.
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain) are out.
CHI: Derrick Rose (right knee) is out.