Warriors knock off Bulls in high-scoring affair
Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports

Warriors knock off Bulls in high-scoring affair

by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO - It was a special past two days at the United Center as the Chicago Bulls (18-22) honored their ring of honor. Oddly enough, one of those members was standing on the other sidelines as Steve Kerr brought his Golden State Warriors (18-20) to town as they were looking to rebound after getting blownout on Wednesday.

When you talk about NBA dynasties, the Warriors have been this generation's version of a dynasty, as they have had much success in the past decade. Led by Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, among others, the Warriors have been the class of the league since 2015, winning four NBA championships, participating in five, and even setting the wins record by going 73-9.

However, those days are long gone, as the Warriors haven't been the same over the past couple of seasons. Look no further than this season, as they would be out of the playoff picture if the postseason started today. That is unheard of for this team, especially when you have shooters like Curry and Thompson ready to come out firing every time they touch the ball. Despite all the struggles, the Warriors are still one of the best offensive teams they are on, and the Bulls found that out firsthand on Friday.

The two teams combined for 38 made triples, with the Bulls connecting for 18 and the Warriors adding 20. Both of these teams were on fire from the start. Despite the Bulls dropping 45 points in the second quarter to score 75 points in the first half, the Warriors responded by scoring 48 points in the third quarter compared to the Bulls 20 and opening up a near 20-point lead heading in to the fourth. Chicago did a great job battling back, but they didn't have enough in the tank as the Warriors took down Chicago 140-131.

If you want any shot at beating the Warriors, you need to be able to beat them at their own game, and for the most part, the Bulls managed to match what the Warriors did offensively. Demar DeRozan had a phenomenal game, going 15-21 from the field and dropping a game-high 39 points. DeRozan hasn't gotten the attention he has in the past, but he is again having an excellent season for Chicago.

DeRozan wasn't the only one on the Bulls having a great game, with Zach Lavine and Coby White both having 25 points. When it comes to White, he was on a heater in the first half as he scored 22 of his 25 points at the half, including several late second-quarter triples. One was a buzzer beater as he connected on 5-7 attempts. Lavine didn't have a breakout quarter, but was more consistent across the board in doing what he did.

Those have been shouldering the load for a while, but Nikola Vucevic continues to chip in nicely with 14 points and adding seven boards. Granted, Alex Caruso only had six points, but all five of the Bulls starters made at least one triple, which is the first time that has happened this season. The Bulls also got nine points and seven boards from Patrick Williams off the bench and six more for Ayo Dosunmu, as their offense was on point throughout.

While the offense was cooking, the defense let them down, which isn't something you have been able to say this season. Any time you have the Warriors' shooters, you know they will get theirs, but it is more about finding a way to contain them. The Bulls did a good job of that most of the night, but it was Klay Thompson firing in the third quarter to finish with a team-high 30 points. 21 of those came from distance, with four of his seven triples coming in the third.

Curry also had a relatively quiet night with 27 points, but when the Warriors needed him, he stepped up in a big way. Whether it be the third quarter or down the stretch in the fourth, he connected on several big shots to make sure the Bulls didn't have a comeback attempt in them. Those two may have had the best game, but the biggest storyline came from Jonathan Kuminga, who had one of the best games of his career.

Despite playing just 24 minutes, all off the bench, he finished third on the team with 24 points. To make matters worse, he started the game 7-7 from the field and was 9-12 overall, as he was the most significant difference in this game. Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 17 points, with Trayce-Jackson Davis (13) and Dario Saric dropping 12. Saric had the hot hand in the first half, scoring most of his points in the opening 12 minutes.

The Bulls won't have time to hang their heads as they will be back in action Saturday to take on the San Antonio Spurs. Additionally, Windy City is back in action as they will take on the Blue Coats at home.

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