Bulls-Warriors Preview


Coming off their ugliest shooting performance in nine seasons, the Golden State Warriors are looking for answers. They may be difficult to find against the defensive-minded Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors try to regroup when they host the Bulls on Thursday night.

Playing its first game in four days, Golden State (29-20) couldn't shake the rust and lost 91-75 to Charlotte on Tuesday. The Warriors were held to their second-lowest scoring total of the season and 31.2 percent from the field, their worst mark since shooting 27.5 percent in a 96-67 loss at Memphis on Nov. 12, 2004.

"We have to find a way to get out of this," said coach Mark Jackson, whose team has shot 38.9 percent in splitting its last four games.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were the only Warriors to score in double figures Tuesday with 17 and 12 points, respectively. David Lee had a season-low eight and shot 3 of 13 after missing the previous game with a shoulder injury.

"We are thinking a little bit too much," Jackson said. "We are just not playing at a high level when we miss shots. We are too good of a basketball team and have come too far along in the process. ... That's the disappointing part. We have to get it back and we will."

The Warriors have dropped five of seven at home after opening 12-4.

"I don't feel like we're pressing, but we definitely have not played the way we are capable of at home," Lee said. "We talked about it at the start of the year, the mark of a really good team is they take care of home court and then you go out and steal some on the road."

The Bulls (24-24) did just that Tuesday, winning 101-92 at Phoenix to snap the Suns' five-game winning streak.

Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Joakim Noah added 14 and 14. Jimmy Butler and D.J. Augustin scored 18 apiece for Chicago, which held Phoenix to a season-low 13 points in the first quarter.

"That's the mark of our team. That's Chicago Bulls basketball and we got back to it tonight," Boozer told the team's official website. "We gathered ourselves and took it to them. It felt great to be out there helping with my guys and help us win."

The Bulls opened their six-game trip with a 96-86 win over San Antonio, but they averaged 74.5 points in losses to New Orleans and Sacramento before beating the Suns. Chicago has won nine straight and 14 of 15 when scoring at least 96 points.

"You could have used an excuse if you chose to do so, but that's what I love about the team," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They come out and they're going to fight. They picked themselves up and did it together."

Chicago ranks second in the NBA with 92.8 points allowed per game, and it's tied with Golden State near the top of the league in field-goal percentage defense at 43.4. The Bulls have won eight of 11 on the road after opening 3-11.

Chicago took both matchups from the Warriors last season, including a rare 113-95 win at Golden State on March 15. Curry and Thompson were held to a combined 15 points and shot 5 of 22.

The Warriors, though, are 11-3 in the last 14 meetings in the series.

Thompson is averaging 13.8 points - nearly five below his season mark - and 29.4 percent shooting over a five-game stretch. He has scored 6.7 points per contest while shooting 29.2 percent in three meetings with Chicago, by far his lowest marks against any team.

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