Bulls beat Warriors in NBA heavyweight battle
ORACLE ARENA — The Warriors were finally overthrown at home.
After winning 19 straight games on their home court — most by massive margins — the Warriors were forced into overtime by the visiting Chicago Bulls who outlasted Golden State 113-111.
With 1:08 to play in overtime, both teams had only scored two buckets each and the game remained tied up. Draymond Green stole the ball in with less than a minute left, but Klay Thompson‘s three missed the mark and on the other end Derrick Rose gave Chicago a 113-111 lead with seven seconds left in overtime.
On the Warriors’ final possession, Andre Iguodala got the ball under the basket and was fouled, but the official call was a non-shooting foul. Iguodala inbounded the ball with 2.9 seconds left to Thompson, who shot a running bank shot that spiraled out as the overtime buzzer sounded.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it was a hard fought game and that just happened to go the wrong way:
“It was a great game and a fun game to be part of. We felt like we had it won at a couple of times we just couldn’t close it. They did a good job of finishing the game out …We were scrapping and clawing, but just couldn’t finish it up.”
At the start of the night it looked like Klay Thompson was attempting to beat the record he set Friday, going 6-of-6 for 15 points in the first four minutes of the game. He was eventually proven to be human, finishing the night with 30 points on 13-of-27 shooting.
Late in the second quarter, after turnovers from both teams, Harrison Barnes sprinted out on a fast break to emphatically thrown down an open dunk to take a 56-51 lead going into halftime.
Green said it was a playoff type game from start to finish. He told SFBay these are the games that the Warriors will grow from:
“We haven’t had many of those games this year, we’ve beaten a lot of people by 20. You can’t win them all. We needed a test like this. Obviously we were one or two plays away from winning it…It happens and we were right there.”
With Andrew Bogut a last-minute scratch due to flu-like symptoms, the Warriors’ size deficiency became evident in the third quarter as the Bulls battled back into the game.
The Chicago front court, aided by aggressive attacking from Derrick Rose, threatened the Warriors 19-game home-win streak.
But Lee turned back the clock, using post moves and his jumper to score 11 of his 24 points off the bench in the third quarter, keeping the Warriors ahead by two points going into the fourth.
It was the Warriors defense in the opening minutes of the final stanza that allowed Golden State to go on a 7-0 run to take a 88-79 lead with 10:34 left to play.
Despite Golden State’s defense, Rose’s crafty work around the rim let Chicago to cut the Warriors lead to just one point.
The Warriors and Bulls traded baskets keeping the game tight through the final four minutes and with 12.2 seconds left, after a perfect defensive possession, Stephen Curry turned the ball over and Kirk Hinrich hit a three to take a 107-105 lead.
Iguodala looking for a cutting Curry, was forced to put up a three in the final seconds and his miss was tipped in by a fighting Green to send the game into overtime.
Green told SFBay there’s no reason to panic and and no reason to get used to the Warriors losing — because it won’t happen:
“We’ll be fine. I hope nobody’s jumping off the ship cause we lost one game. People aren’t used to us losing…We lost by two. If people want to see us lose that’s fine, they won’t see it often so it don’t matter.”
It was Iguodala again who looked for the open man on the final play of the game, but in the end the Warriors were handed just their second home-loss of the season.
The Warriors, now 36-7, will play the first game of a back-to-back in Utah on Friday before returning home Saturday to take on on the 26-20 Phoenix Suns.
Despite the loss, the Warriors own the best record in the NBA at 36-7 and are still off to their best start in franchise history with 36 wins in 43 games. … Golden State went 0-for-13 from three in the second half (including overtime), finishing 9-of-33 from distance. … The Warriors are now 9-5 on the season when Bogut does not play (27-2 when he does). … Klay Thompson scored 30 points on 13-of-27 shooting to go along with a career-high-tying 10 rebounds for his second career double-double. Thompson has scored at least 30 points in three-straight games, a career-best. … Stephen Curry finished with 21 points and nine assists. Curry had seven assists in the first quarter, tied for the most in a quarter by a Warriors this season. … David Lee scored a season-high 24 points, converting on a season-high 10 field goals, along with nine rebounds and six assists. It was the most points scored by a Warriors reserve this season since Marreese Speights scored 27 points off the bench Nov. 28 at Charlotte.