What we learned as Steph exits with injury in Warriors' loss to Bulls

What we learned as Steph exits with injury in Warriors' loss to Bulls originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


SAN FRANCISCO – After playing well most of the night, the Warriors went cold late in the fourth quarter and came up short in a 125-122 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday at Chase Center that saw Stephen Curry exit the game without returning after injuring his right ankle.

With around four minutes remanining in the fourth quarter, Curry caught a pass in the lane that led to him landing awkwardly on his right ankle, limping off the court before going directly to the Warriors' locker room.

Klay Thompson poured in 25 points and made five 3-pointers off the bench, but the Warriors couldn't sustain the momentum they built a night earlier when they knocked off the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jonathan Kuminga had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry and Chris Paul each scored 15, while Draymond Green had a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

Brandin Podziemski also scored 11, but missed a crucial layup with six seconds remaining while the Warriors trailed 122-119.

The Warriors cut the Bulls' lead to 123-122 after Paul hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left. Chicago's DeMar DeRozan answered with a pair of free throws to put the Bulls back in front 125-122 before Lester Quinones shot an airball from midcourt as time expired.

It was a crushing loss for the Warriors, who fell back into a tie with the Lakers for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference.

Golden State (33-24) entered the day feeling very good after a 35-point win over the Bucks but couldn't keep the good times going.

The loss was just the Warriors' fifth defeat in their last 18 games.

Curry struggled with his shot most of the night. He was limited to five points in the first half and ended the night 5 of 18 overall and 3 of 12 beyond the arc.

Here are the takeaways from Thursday's game:

Moody sparked late run

Moody made a handful of plays midway through the fourth quarter that helped swing the momentum in Golden State's favor while bringing the Chase Center crowd to its feet.

Moody grabbed a pair of rebounds, sank two free throws, then took a pass from Trayce Jackson-Davis and scored on a layup when the Warriors erased a seven-point deficit. TJD and Moody connected again later in the fourth for a bucket that gave Golden State a 108-107 edge.

There seems to be a different energy when Moody is on the court, and it will be interesting to see how much Kerr will lean on him down the stretch.

Klay crushes it

The Warriors were a bit slow coming out of the gates, but not Thompson. He came off the bench midway through the first quarter and nailed his first three 3-pointers, keeping Golden State afloat until the rest of the offense got going.

A lot has been made of Thompson having to adjust to his role of Sixth Man, but not enough has been said about the way the five-time All-Star has handled it. He hasn't made a big deal publicly about the transition and has embraced the move, which has sent a clear message to the rest of his teammates about putting the team's needs ahead of his personal desires.

Thompson has proven he can still be effective as a starter, but his shooting has added another dimension to an already strong second unit for the Dubs. Like it was in the glory days, Golden State's bench has been solid most of the season and has been better with Thompson a part of it.

Podz keeps pushing

Like he has been all season, Brandin Podziemski was a ball of energy against the Bulls while doing a little bit of everything.

Bursting with confidence that seems to ooze from his pores, Podz put together another of his patent all-around games. Now a solid fixture in Golden State's starting lineup, the rookie guard showed no fear while going right at the heart of Chicago's defense, repeatedly driving through heavy traffic into the paint and giving the Bulls problems.

While he missed an opportunity to deliver a game-tying bucket late in the fourth quarter, Podz still was masterful at doing the little things. He shot 4 of 7 and had four rebounds, four assists and a steal to finish plus-seven.

He's clearly still a work in progress but in every game there's no denying that Podz leaves it all on the court. He has a high basketball IQ that sets him apart from many other rookies in the NBA, and his willingness to keep learning will be a big benefit as he continues his development.

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