The Chicago Bulls (31-30) defeated the team with the best record in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, (50-11). This game was notable because The Warriors played without injured Kevin Durant, out for 4-5 weeks with an injury. The Warriors haven’t lost two regular season games in a row since April of 2015.
Coach Steve Kerr has some adjusting to make off the results of this game. The Warriors appeared out of rhythm and did not play with its usual aggression. This enabled the Bulls to hang around, and soon it gained some confidence, and Robin Lopez blocked a few shots, and Jimmy Butler’s shot began to fall, and we were off to the races.
Imagine the Bulls only scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and won the game. That was because Golden State had a 14 point quarter. This coming from a team that scored 50 points in a quarter in a recent road win.
The Bulls are usually the offensively challenged team. Thursday night it was the Warriors as they shot 38.6% from the floor. And, the from 3, the legendary shooters were not to be found. Stephen Curry hit only 2 of 11 shots, and Klay Thompson was 1 of 11 from three-point land. That probably won’t happen again, all season. It did happen last night, and the Bulls took advantage, clinging to a 3 point lead in the fourth quarter, it finally went on a 10-2 run to ice the game.
Butler had 22 points to pace the Bulls. Bobby Portis, the young forward, had a solid game with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Perhaps the biggest contribution came from Rajon Rondo, who scored 8 key points in the third quarter as the Bulls asserted itself. “Yes, we can score, if someone is gonna shoot it.” Rondo did, and made some big baskets.
You never know with this Bulls squad. They lose to Denver the other night, and Thursday, they came out fired up, played smart, played defense, and defeated the Warriors, who have cruised through most of the NBA.
Kevin Durant is out which will make the West interesting this spring. For the Bulls, their goal is to make the playoffs, which appears more of a reality, as the season runs down.