The Warriors spoiled the Bulls' (and Bulls fans') Thanksgiving, dismantling them down the stretch en route to a 104-90 win. Observations from a disappointing performance:
Bulls come out lifeless
In a game the Bulls had to win, they came out of the gates flat. After jumping out to a quick 9-1 lead in the first three minutes of the game, they endured a scoring drought of almost four full minutes and ended the quarter trailing 25-17.
Here's the team's first quarter shot chart, to give you an idea of how bad the basketball was:
The Bulls finished the period 2-for-15 from inside the three-point arc. Fourteen of those attempts came in the painted area, the majority of which were either contested, blocked or hurled towards the rim with the most reckless of abandon. Overall, the Bulls shot 6-for-23 (26.1%) from the field in the game's first. Gentle reminder: This was against a team in the Warriors that entered the game 30th in the NBA in Defensive Rating and 28th in Opponent Field Goal percentage.
That drought continued into the second quarter, with the Warriors seizing their largest lead of the half (34-21) with 8:57 to go in the frame. They scrapped for most of the third and early in the fourth, but inevitably, the doldrums settled in crunch time. When they did, the Warriors pulled away.
Zach LaVine keeps the ship afloat… for a time
Then Zach LaVine took over and it was fun, if only for a moment:
LaVine had 18 points in the second quarter, finishing the half with 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting (4-for-7) from three. His hot stretch featured decisive cutting, highlight-reel dunking and even a crucial assist on a Tomas Satoransky three to cut the deficit to five in the final seconds of the half. He played 10:44 of a possible 12 minutes in the frame.
The entire night, the Bulls lacked enthusiasm when he wasn't on the floor. With LaVine sitting from the 3:22 mark of the third until the 10:05 mark of the fourth, a 69-69 tie turned into a 80-73 Warriors lead. The Bulls clawed their way back into the game from there, but failed to get over the hump - again.
LaVine did all he could, finishing the game with 36 points on 13-for-24 shooting. He even pitched in five assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks He is a magnificent offensive basketball player and should not be taken for granted. That is the only positive thing to be taken away from this game (that, and the 19 points from Tomas Satoransky), and it's not nearly enough.
Bulls make some stars
I wrote before this one that if the Bulls made stars out of Warriors role players, you all would be the first to know. Well, Golden State got contributions from a couple of faces that eluded the pregame scouting report:
Alec Burks: 23 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists on 9-for-19 shooting (3-for-8 from three). He had eight points and three assists down the stretch.
Marquese Chriss: 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals on 5-for-5 shooting. The former lottery bust was the most physically imposing player on the court in his 20 minutes.
‘Familiar face' Eric Paschall had 25 points and seven rebounds on 9-for-16 shooting (2-for-2 from three) and Draymond Green - even with only seven points - dished out eight assists, swiped three steals, blocked a shot and canned a dagger corner three to push the Warriors lead to 12 with 3:10 remaining in the fourth.
The Warriors bench outscored the Bulls' 35-19. This is (or was) the worst team in the league.
Bulls completely and unabashedly rolled over
The Warriors ended this game on an 18-8 run. Lauri Markkanen didn't see the floor in crunch-time until the game was out of reach - finishing with 8 points on 3-for-10 shooting.
In true Thanksgiving fashion the Bulls were outgobbled 54-42 on the boards by a team that entered the night averaging 43.5 rebounds per game. The Bulls were stuffed nine times by a team averaging 4.3 per game. The Bulls scored 90 points against a team giving up 117.6 points per game. The Bulls shot 38.2% from the field against a team allowing opponents to shoot 48.2% from the field. (Ran out of puns in the middle, there.)
Against a 3-15 team, they were overmatched.