Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors blitz Chicago Bulls

By Brian Hedger, The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 21, 2016 at 12:21 AM
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CHICAGO -- The Golden State Warriors are back on track in their season of dominance.

After starting a three-game road trip against a trio of top Eastern Conference teams with a humbling loss to the Detroit Pistons, the defending NBA champions won their past two games by more than 30 points.

The Warriors defeated the Chicago Bulls 125-94 Wednesday at the United Center to follow a 34-point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

"We just got back into who we are as a team and put together two pretty solid 40-minute performances, and that's what we expect," said guard Stephen Curry, who led the way with 25 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. "You're going to have nights like the Detroit game, but good teams bounce back quick, and we were able to do that. It says a lot about our resiliency and confidence."

It took a few minutes, but the Warriors (39-4) rolled once they got their offense going.

All 13 Warriors scored and six finished in double figures. Along with Curry, guard Klay Thompson (20 points) and forward Harrison Barnes (19) reached double digits, along with reserve guards Leandro Barbosa (12) and Shaun Livingston (12) and backup swingman Andre Iguodala (10).

Guard Derrick Rose led all scorers with 29 points, and guard Jimmy Butler added 23 points for the Bulls, who were swept by Golden State in the two-game season series. Chicago (24-17) got double-figure scoring off the bench from rookie forward Bobby Portis (16 points) and guard E'Twaun Moore (13).

"It's embarrassing," Rose said. "We stopped communicating while we were out there. You could easily tell there was no communication on both sides of the ball. The only thing we can do from it is learn."

Golden State trailed through the game's first four minutes, but they used an 11-4 run to seize the lead and never trailed again.

Rose hit five of his first six shots and scored 10 of the Bulls' first 12 points. Golden State, however, took advantage of Rose being subbed out with 6:12 left in the first. Without Rose on the floor, the Warriors outscored the Bulls 21-6 the rest of the quarter and led 34-18 starting the second.

Chicago never recovered.

"Derrick was great coming out (to start the game)," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He was aggressive and attacking. He carried us offensively. He expended a lot of energy and had to come out for a blow. Things went south for us pretty quick."

Golden State continued its dominance in the second. The Warriors used their advantage in scoring depth to push the lead to 63-44 at halftime despite Rose running his point total to 21 on 10-of-15 shooting before the break.

Butler scored 10 points in a 12-4 run to start the third, pulling Chicago within 67-56 with 6:13 left, but Golden State responded with a 17-5 run to put the game away.

Just past the halfway point in the NBA season, Golden State is on pace to surpass the NBA record of 72 wins set in 1995-96 by the Bulls, who were led by Michael Jordan.

"We've got a lot of games left," Golden State interim coach Luke Walton said. "It's a long season and with (39 games) left, I'm not thinking about that."

A couple Warriors players, however, were thinking about that era of Bulls basketball prior to the game. Chicago still uses the same entrance music as back in Jordan's era, which got Curry and forward Draymond Green fired up.

"It's exciting and it's always fun to come here and play," said Green, who had six points, 10 rebounds and nine assists despite leaving the game in the second half after getting hit in the eye. "You hear that (song), and you just think back to those days watching Jordan and 'Space Jam,' and all that stuff."

NOTES: The Bulls played their second game since losing C Joakim Noah for the season with a separated shoulder. Noah, who underwent surgery Tuesday in New York, is expected to rejoin the team soon to begin his rehab. ... Chicago also played without G Kirk Hinrich (left quad contusion). Hinrich's defense against Warriors G Stehpen Curry, the NBA's reigning MVP, was missed. In the Bulls' first game against the Warriors, a 106-94 loss on Nov. 21 in Oakland, Hinrich helped hold Curry to 27 points, three below his average. ... Golden State interim coach Luke Walton said head coach Steve Kerr is getting more involved in preparing for each game. Kerr, who took a leave of absence to recover from two back surgeries, is on the road trip. "I hope that (he returns) soon, but me and the rest of our staff have to keep preparing like it's not going to happen, just so we're ready to do our jobs," Walton said. "But we are hopeful that he'll be back soon."

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