It was a surprisingly good start to the game for the Chicago Bulls. Similar to their game on Wednesday, the Bulls picked up the pace on offense against a good defensive team in the Golden State Warriors.
Jimmy Butler, who had a career-high 34 points against the Phoenix Suns earlier this week, picked up where he left off as he helped pace the Chicago offense to have a double-digit lead over Golden State after half a quarter of basketball. He was also helped out by Kirk Hinrich, who was starting in place of Derrick Rose who is out with an ankle injury. Hinrich had nine points and two assists in the first quarter as Chicago got out to a big lead in the first quarter.
But the Warriors, who made a 23-point comeback last night against the Los Angeles Clippers, bounced back from another slow start and were able to cut the lead down to one at the end of the first quarter.
They were led by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green who each had 10 points in the first half. Golden State's bench then proceeded to take the lead as they outplayed the Chicago bench in the first half.
Golden State was the one with all the momentum as they stretched their lead in the second quarter. But again, another run by the Bulls helped close the gap as Chicago was only down three to the Warriors 50-47.
The third quarter was the Jimmy Butler quarter as Chicago tried to stay in the game. Butler dropped 10 as Chicago put the ball in his hands and let him make plays. Chicago put Butler in iso situations and used the pick and roll to either get him open or kick out to a shooter. Chicago's bench also got on the board as E'Twaun Moore had a good quarter for the Bulls. But a couple of quick baskets and Bulls turnovers helped Golden State hold on to a six-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
Chicago had a great opportunity to get back into the game at the start of the fourth quarter. With both Curry and Klay Thompson on the bench, the Bulls had a great chance to make a run and take the lead. But it didn't turn out to be the case as the Warriors were able to keep their six-point lead, but Chicago was knocking on the door. A transition three by Hinrich and three free throws by Nikola Mirotic gave Chicago the 82-81 lead with just over eight minutes left in the game.
But Golden State, with Curry and Thompson back in the game, were able to keep the Bulls at bay as the lead stayed at three points for a while. But back-to-back three's by Harrison Barnes helped stretch the lead to double digits as Golden State was able to close out the Bulls and stay perfect on the season at 14-0.
Jimmy Butler finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Kirk Hinrich added 17 points, while Pau Gasol (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Nikola Mirotic (18 points and 10 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles.
Stephen Curry struggled to shoot the ball efficiently but he still put up 27 points and four assists. Harrison Barnes added 20 points and nine rebounds, while Andre Iguodala came off the bench to score 13 points and grab five rebounds.