After one quarter, it looked like the Bulls were going to pull a repeat of last year against the Warriors, when Chicago surprisingly handled Golden State in both contests. But in the end, the Splash Brothers and the Warriors' three-point attack was too potent, and the Bulls fell 102-87.
Stephen Curry finished the night with 34 points and nine assists, shooting a ridiculous 13-of-19 from the field and 4-of-6 from three. Curry was instrumental in bringing the Warriors back from an early 16-point deficit, scoring 16 points in the second quarter to completely erase that deficit by halftime. Curry's fellow Splash Bro, Klay Thompson, added 19 points and three threes.
Curry and Thompson weren't the only Warriors to do damage from deep. After a terrible start, Harrison Barnes knocked down three triples in the fourth quarter, while Jordan Crawford hit a huge trey with just over two minutes left after the Bulls had cut a 14-point deficit to just six. The Warriors went 11-of-22 from three on the night, which helped make up for the absences of David Lee and Andrew Bogut down low.
For the Bulls, Taj Gibson had 26 points and 13 rebounds in place of Carlos Boozer, who missed the game with a calf strain. Gibson did go a very Boozer-esque 9-of-23 from the field, bricking all but one of his mid-range jumpers outside the paint. However, Gibson did go 8-of-8 from the line, so that kind of made up for the bricklaying.
Joakim Noah once again flirted with a triple-double, finishing with seven points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Noah did go a disappointing 3-of-9 against the shorthanded Warriors frontcourt, which ruined his shot at that triple-double. Noah also had four of the Bulls' 17 turnovers on the night, and all those Chicago turnovers also aid Golden State in their comeback.
The Bulls' point guards were responsible for the hot start, with Kirk Hinrich knocking down his first four shots en route to a 15-point night on 7-of-11 shooting. Hinrich apparently has a thing for playing against the Warriors (season-high 25 points against them last year) and national TV games, and the Bulls probably could have used a bit more of him, but he was limited to 25 minutes by foul trouble. [Note by JayPatt, 02/07/14 11:56 AM CST Apparently Kirk is on a 20-25 minute limit because of his hamstring, and he will be indefinitely, per KC ] D.J. Augustin started strong as well, making his first five shots on the night. Unfortunately, Augustin missed his final seven shots.
The fact that the Bulls lost this game really isn't a surprise, although it's a bit disappointing given the great first quarter. The Bulls shot 60.0 percent in the first, but just 35.1 percent the rest of the way. Oh well. Bulls have the Lakers next in a Sunday matinee on ABC to wrap up their road trip. Perfect recipe for another big Kirk game!