Recap of the Bulls vs. Warriors game: Chicago suffers its first blowout loss of the season
The Chicago Bulls knew this was going to be a difficult game: on the road, against one of the top teams in the NBA, on national television, and without Nikola Vucevic. And, regrettably, those concerns were realised, as the Bulls suffered their worst defeat of the season, falling to the Warriors 119-93.
Zach LaVine led the squad with 23 points, but he also committed seven turnovers as Chicago’s offence was suffocated all night, unable to shoot efficiently from the floor. The Bulls are now 8-4 on the season as a result of the loss.
Chicago got out to a fast start, leading by as many as eleven points in the first quarter. LaVine provided the most of the offence, scoring 10 points on his own. For the most of the quarter, the Bulls were able to cause difficulties defensively, pushing Golden State into five turnovers. Some of the Warriors’ gaffes were self-inflicted, as a handful of Warriors’ fast breaks were ruined by an inaccurate pass out of bounds. Chicago appeared to be on track to finish the quarter with a double-digit lead thanks to Ayo Dosunmu’s back-to-back corner threes, but Golden State had other plans. They embarked on a 9-3 run in two minutes to cut the deficit in half. Derrick Jones Jr.’s three-pointer made it 29-23 Bulls at the end of the first quarter.
The evidence of Chicago’s wheels slipping off initially appeared in the second quarter.
The offence began to stall, with the Bulls scoring only 16 points in the quarter. Chicago’s space became extremely constrained without Vucevic, and even when they had open looks, they simply weren’t hitting them down. Turnovers also hampered Chicago; there was a spell when the Bulls lost the ball three times in 40 seconds. The Warriors are simply too talented a team to make mistakes against, and they capitalised as predicted. With 7:18 remaining in the quarter, they seized the lead and never looked back. The Bulls stayed within striking distance, but the Warriors came back with a late-quarter flurry. Despite a Lonzo dunk at the conclusion of the half (after missing his first seven attempts from the field), the home team had the upper hand.
The Warriors are one of the strongest third-quarter teams in the league, as seen by their 35-17 victory over the Bulls, which increased their advantage to 24 points. And, as he frequently does, Steph Curry can take over a game anytime he wants, scoring 15 points in the third quarter alone as he pounded down long-range jumpers. Even when the Bulls moved up to eliminate that option, Curry dived to the basket for easy layups. The Bulls offence stagnated as a result, and with neither DeRozan (4-13 from the field) nor Ball (2-11) shooting well, LaVine began pressing things and had five turnovers in the third quarter.
Something to note — the Warriors lead the NBA in net rating in third quarters, outscoring their opponents by 31 points per 100.