The Bulls fought tooth and nail for 3 and a half quarters but ran out of gas in the final 5 minutes as the Warriors pulled out a hard-fought 106-94 victory in a game that was closer than the final score to continue their undefeated start and drop the Bulls’ record to 8-4.
The shorthanded Bulls, playing without Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks, were within 94-91 with 2 minutes left to play when a Draymond Green layup and two three pointers by Harrison Barnes ended the Bulls’ chances at Oracle Arena. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with another all-around effort, scoring 29 points with 9 rebounds and 7 assists, while Kirk Hinrich’s 17 points were the most he’d had in a game since October 2014.
The Bulls jumped out to a quick first quarter, with Hinrich scoring 9 points in the first six minutes and pestering the Warriors with two steals that led to fast breaks. Butler added 10 efficient points to lead Chicago to an 11 point lead, but the Warriors, as is their style, were able to score in bunches to bring the lead down to one at the end of the first.
The second quarter saw the Warriors get out to a bit of a run as the Bulls struggled to score, but Nikola Mirotic was able to make some timely baskets, finishing the half with 13. Curry was held relatively in check with 10 points in the half but the rest of the Warriors were able to hit open three pointers to keep the Warriors ahead. Only 4 Bulls scored in the first half – Butler and Mirotic with 13, Gasol with 12 and Hinrich with 9.
The 3rd quarter saw the game continue with back-and –forth action, with Jimmy Butler again carrying the load for the Bulls with 10 in the period on an array of shots from all over the floor. Klay Thompson started heating up and Curry scored 8 points, ending the quarter on a mini-run due to some costly turnovers and missed free throws from the Bulls. Joakim Noah continued to struggle on offense and committed three turnovers in the period.
The loss snapped a 4-game winning streak for the Bulls, who are back in action on Tuesday as they take on the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland. The Blazers defeated the Clippers on Friday night, snapping a 7-game losing streak.