A .500 team from the Eastern Conference came into Oracle on Wednesday night — without their two best players. What do you think happened? If you guessed that we’d be talking about a Warriors’ blowout, then you’re right on the money.
The Warriors weren’t at their most impressive against the Chicago Bulls, but it was plenty good enough for an easy win — 123-92. The win was expected after all, with Golden State coming in with 137 regular-season wins without suffering consecutive losses … And the Warriors were coming off a loss to Sacramento on Saturday.
They didn’t have to be at their absolute best because Chicago was playing without Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade. They also lost Paul Zipser, who started at forward, to an ankle injury early in the game.
The Warriors (44-8) were led by Klay Thompson, who finished with 28 points on 10-for-18 from the floor, including 6-for-9 from 3-point range. Kevin Durant finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
It wasn’t the most crisp first half, nor was it the most intense but the Warriors went into the break up 55-41 and in complete control. At one point midway through the second quarter, both teams had committed seven turnovers. That’s a lot but not what we’re getting to. What we’re getting to is that each team had scored just two points off the seven turnovers of the other team — not exactly taking advantage.
The Warriors, already playing without Zaza Pachulia and David West, lost JaVale McGee to an injury midway through the third quarter. McGee bit hard on a head fake by Robin Lopez and ended up landing awkwardly after he was high in the air. McGee stayed on the floor for about a minute, got up and headed straight to the locker room. McGee returned to the bench but he didn’t return to the game.
Kerr said afterward that he didn’t think Pachulia or West would return by th end of their three-game road trip — to Memphis, Oklahoma City and then Denver.