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Bulls 113, Warriors 95

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Chicago Bulls used a 26-6 flurry bridging the middle two periods to break open a close game and held the Golden State Warriors without a 3-pointer for three-and-a-half quarters en route to a 113-95 victory Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Rebounding big-time from undoubtedly the low point of their season, Wednesday's 121-79 drubbing at Sacramento, the Bulls turned a competitive game into a blowout during a decisive 8:23 stretch of the second and third periods as they salvaged one win on a trip that had begun with losses to the Lakers and Kings.

Luol Deng (23), Carlos Boozer (21) and Nate Robinson (20) all topped 20 points and Joakim Noah contributed a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Bulls (36-29), who kept pace with Atlanta and remained in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Warriors (37-30), meanwhile, put themselves in a position of falling out of the No. 6 playoff position in the West should they lose Sunday at Houston. The Rockets (36-30) have won all three head-to-head matchups with Golden State this season.

The Warriors can only hope to turn things around as quickly as the Bulls.

Up by 10 at the half after closing the second quarter on an 18-6 run, the Bulls kept the clamps on the Golden State offense immediately following the break, holding them without a point for 3:06 and without a field goal for 4:33.

In the meantime, Marco Belinelli nailed a 3-pointer and Robinson, a fellow Warriors backcourt castoff, converted a steal into a layup, fueling an eight-point run that put Golden State in a 64-46 hole and setting the stage for a garbage-time finish.

Jarrett Jack had 20 points off the bench and David Lee 15 for the Warriors, who missed their first 11 3-point attempts and didn't make one until Kent Bazemore connected from 24 feet with 5:53 remaining in the game.

Neither Stephen Curry (0-for-5) nor Klay Thompson (0-for-4) made a 3 for the Warriors on a miserable night for each. Curry finished with eight points on 2-for-13 shooting; Thompson was 3-for-9 on a seven-point night.

The loss ended the Warriors' seven-game homestand with a 4-3 record. The 12-day stretch included a 29-point win over New York and a 17-loss loss to Chicago.

The Bulls got almost nothing from their bench in the first half, and as it turned out, they didn't need it. Led by Noah's 14 points, the Chicago starting five outscored the entire Warriors roster by one over the first 24 minutes en route to a 56-46 halftime advantage.

If there was cause for concern for the Bulls at that point, it was that four of those starters already had played 19 or more minutes.

Then again, they seemed to be getting better as the game progressed, as witnessed by their 18-6 run to close the half. Robinson triggered the burst with a pair of 3-pointers, the six points equaling the Warriors' total over the final 5:15 of the half.

The Warriors' Thompson missed three 3s in the half-closing avalanche, concluding a half in which Golden State went 0-for-8 from beyond the arc.

NOTES: Derrick Rose made the three-game Western swing with the Bulls and, as usual, went through a pregame workout on the court. The Bulls remain noncommittal on his return, but haven't ruled out the possibility of that occurring on next week's three-game homestand against Denver, Portland and Indiana. ... For the record, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau provided this update on his star point guard about an hour before tip-off: "He's the same. He keeps getting better. We've just got to continue to be patient." ... Warriors coach Mark Jackson before the game labeled Rose "great for the NBA, both on and off the court." ... The Bulls' 121-79 debacle at Sacramento on Wednesday was their 13th loss by 10 points or more this season. They'd rebounded with wins on seven of the previous 12 occasions. ... Before Friday, the Bulls had recorded victories each of the last five times they entered a game on a two-game losing streak, winning those games by an average of 10.4 points. ... Even after their just completed seven-game homestand, the Warriors still have more home games remaining (nine) than road games (six). In fact, after their three-game trip to Houston, New Orleans and San Antonio that begins Sunday, the Warriors will finish with nine of 12 at home.
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