The Golden State Warriors Wednesday showed the Bulls how they are chasing the Bulls record for wins in a season with a dominant 125-94 victory.
The Warriors took control of the game after the Bulls were in it briefly early with a 23-5 run the last six minutes of the first quarter. That gave the fleet and nimble Warriors a 16-point lead and they led by double digits the rest of the game, by 19 at half, by 24 after three quarters and by the same margin with about four minutes remaining when Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg went with the deep reserves.
Derrick Rose with a strong start and 21 first half points finished with 29. Jimmy Butler after a slow start had 19 in the second half for 23 points. Rookie Bobby Portis added 16 points and eight rebounds. But Pau Gasol had one point and was zero for eight. Starters Gasol, Taj Gibson and Tony Snell shot a combined three of 22. The Bulls were one of 20 on three pointers while the Warriors with Stephen Curry scoring 25 had 38 assists. Klay Thompson added 20.
The Bulls are 24-17 and the Warriors moved to 39-4.
The Bulls behind Rose’s slashing play got off to a fast start, and fast is the operative word with the Warriors, who run the ball back at the defense and then seem to decide what they want to do. And it often works. Rose scored 10 of the Bulls first 12 points. Though with that and themselves off to a poor shooting start, the Warriors still were within 12-11. That’s the issue against the Warriors: You can play well and not be far ahead. The Warriors then cut and moved and moved and cut and shot and cut and moved and ran and it was 11-2 to close the first quarter for a 34-18 Warriors lead.
Rose continued his aggressive play to start the second quarter with another pair of driving baskets and an assist on a Portis score. But they couldn’t hold off the aggressive Warriors, who began taking advantage of mismatches with Shaun Livingtston. The Warriors went ahead 47-28 midway through the second quarter before the reserves hit the Warriors with a 7-0 run to keep Bulls hope alive. It’s difficult against this Warriors team the way they move the ball, trusting their teammates and personally unselfish.
Both teams got a scare late in the second quarter when Rose was pushed into Curry and both tumbled to the floor. Curry went to the free throw line to make all three as the Warriors continued to push their ball and the score, leading 63-44 at halftime. Rose had 21 points at half on 10 of 15 shooting. The rest of the starters were three for 21. The Warriors had 20 assists on 26 first half baskets.
The Bulls made a run back at the Warriors early in the third quarter with Butler getting engaged after a one of seven first half. The Bulls got within on eight Butler points as Draymond Green went out after an accidental elbow to the face. But with a Thompson three the Warriors took a 72-56 lead with 5:26 left in the third quarter. The Bulls had another little move to within 73-61 on a Portis jumper and Butler post up jumper. But the Warriors are relentless, Curry and Harrison Barnes with back to back three and then Leandro Barbosa getting an outlet pass at midcourt threw a long underhand lob to Andre Iguodala, who dunked it. Curry was so excited he pantomimed raise-the-roof returning on defense. It was quite a show as the Warriors led 87-63 after three quarters.