Curry, Thompson Lead Warriors Past Bulls
OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Stephen Curry had 34 points and nine assists, Klay Thompson scored 22 points and the undermanned Golden State Warriors rallied from 16 down in the first half to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-87 on Thursday night.
With big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee sidelined with injuries, Golden State’s streaky backcourt tandem found its shooting stroke after falling behind 34-18 in the second quarter. Curry finished 13-for-19 shooting, and Thompson shot 8 of 16 from the floor to give the Warriors’ raucous fans a reason to cheer after losing five of their previous seven at home.
Taj Gibson had 26 points and 13 rebounds filling in for Carlos Boozer, and Kirk Hinrich scored 15 points as Chicago dropped to 2-3 on its road trip, which ends Sunday at the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors shot 48.2 percent, including 50 percent from 3-point range, and got 11 points apiece from reserves Harrison Barnes and Jordan Crawford to go ahead 91-77 with 4:54 remaining.
Tony Snell and Jimmy Butler each hit consecutive 3s, and Butler followed with a pair of free throws that brought the Bulls to 91-85. Then Jordan Crawford rattled in a 3-pointer, and Butler and Curry traded baskets to keep the Warriors in control.
Joakim Noah finished with a career-high 11 assists to with 10 rebounds and seven points, and Butler scored 14 for the Bulls, who outrebounded Golden State 45 to 39 but committed 17 turnovers. The loss also dropped Chicago (24-25), which shot 41.6 percent, below .500.
The Warriors seemed to hit a low point during a 91-75 home loss to Charlotte on Tuesday night in which they shot just 31.2 percent from the floor — the franchise’s lowest mark since November 2004 — and often looked lost and lethargic.
Despite Warriors coach Mark Jackson’s best efforts to keep calm, optimism seemed to dwindle even more when he revealed just 90 minutes before facing the Bulls that Bogut (shoulder stiffness) and Lee (sprained left shoulder and strained left hip) would not play. Lee also will sit out Saturday at Phoenix, Jackson said.
The Warriors (30-20) still managed to match their record through 50 games last season, when they finished 47-35 to earn the Western Conference’s sixth playoff seed. They were no doubt helped when the Bulls announced just minutes before tipoff that Boozer would be out with a strained left calf.
Even still, the battle-without-big-men went Chicago’s way at the start.
The Bulls built leads of 29-16 after the first quarter and 34-18 early in the second behind a swarming defensive effort that swallowed up Golden State’s prolific shooters.
But Chicago’s inconsistent offense, prone to long scoring droughts without Derrick Rose, repeatedly stalled and allowed the Warriors to get out in transition. Curry captured the momentum by scoring 16 points in the second quarter, including a 3-pointer that gave Golden State a 50-46 halftime lead and had him roaring with the announced sellout crowd of 19,596.
Curry, who will start for the Western Conference in his first All-Star game later this month, also put the Warriors up 76-66 late in the third quarter on a nifty reverse layup. He hit another from beyond the arc midway during a run in the fourth quarter that put the Warriors up 14 with fewer than 5 minutes to play.
NOTES: New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game, a night after visiting Sacramento. He did not speak with reporters. … Jackson became the sixth coach in Warriors history to win 100 games. He is 100-98 in two-plus seasons. … Chicago won both meetings against Golden State last season. The Bulls and Warriors meet one more time this season on Feb. 26 in Chicago.
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