The Golden State Warriors rode a 40-point masterpiece from Steph Curry and excellent play from the bench to close out their 7-1 homestand with a 119-93 win over the Chicago Bulls. The Warriors record improved to 11-1, and they still haven’t lost a game in regulation so far this year.
It was another vintage Full Squad performance. Andrew Wiggins had 15 points and Jordan Poole had 14. Eleven different Warriors scored, Gary Payton II and Poole each had three steals, and newfound rebounding stud Kevon Looney pulled down ten boards to lead the team. Jonathan Kuminga scored a career-high eight points in a career-high 15 minutes, which included passable defense on the Bulls stars and two rim-rocking dunks.
The first two big dunks of Jonathan Kuminga's career, back to back in the fourth quarter tonight. pic.twitter.com/PxmskslRCT— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 13, 2021
Chicago led 29-23 in the first quarter, thanks to ten points from Zach Lavine and a flurry of Warriors turnovers. They had five turnovers in the first five minutes, including giveaways on four consecutive possessions. DeMar DeRozan got to the line, rookie Ayo Dosunmu hit two three-pointers, and the Bulls looked every bit the team with the best record in the East, even without center Nikola Vucevic.
Then the Warriors decided to move up their regular third quarter blowout, which coincided with Gary Payton II entering the game, after Alex Caruso’s hard foul sent Otto Porter Jr. to the locker room with a thigh contusion. Steph Curry hit a few threes, and then the Warriors took the lead when Payton stole the ball from Lavine and took it downcourt for a dunk. That made it 35-34, and Golden State would never trail again.
Warriors shift to a box-and-one with Gary Payton II being the one faceguarding Zach LaVine. Immediately gets a steal and a dunk off of it. Instant impact, scheme and personnel wise. pic.twitter.com/Vp4DeBPYua— Joe Viray (@JoeVirayNBA) November 13, 2021
Draymond Green had a dunk and a three-pointer on consecutive possessions, and the Warriors won the quarter 28-16.
Once again, the third quarter was where the Warriors delivered a knockout punch, using their typical recipe of Steph Curry + stifling defense. Curry went ⅘ from three-point range; the Bulls shot 2/12. The Warriors got five steals in the quarter; the Bulls made only five field goals. It was a thoroughly dominant stretch where the Dubs began the quarter on a 19-6 run and closed with a 9-3 run. When it was over, they led by 24 points.
Lavine finished with 23 points and six rebounds, plus seven turnovers. DeMar DeRozan had 18 points, half of them from the free throw line, while shooting 4-13 from the floor. The Bulls’ new ex-Laker point guard duo of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso really struggled, combining for 9 points on 4-17 shooting, including 1-11 from three. Lonzo did have four steals, however.
It was the team’s 7th straight win by double digits, and they still haven’t lost in regulation this season. Though the schedule has been fairly soft, their point differential is now 14.7, seven points better than Utah, the next-best team.
We would be remiss not to mention the rejuvenated Andre Iguodala, who had two big dunks and finished +19 in his 18 minutes. Iguodala’s active hands on defense have rubbed off on the entire team, who are second in the league with 18.3 deflections per game. The Warriors took the ball away from Lavine four times in the third quarter alone, twice by Andrew Wiggins, aided by an unpredictable defensive scheme that included a box-and-one. It’s the most disrespectful treatment of a Bulls superstar since Scottie Pippen’s new memoir.
Monsieur Andre Iguodala pic.twitter.com/JRPnhS3cf7— The Daily Dunk (@TheDailyDunkfr) November 13, 2021
Active hands are a huge reason why the Warriors have the top defense in the NBA despite their lack of a traditional center - Looney is only 6’9”. Somehow, they’re even third in rebounding!
Next, the team heads to Charlotte for a rematch with the Hornets, who lost 114-92 ten days ago in San Francisco. It’s a four-game road trip, highlighted by a reunion with old friend Kevin Durant and eternal enemy James Harden in Brooklyn Tuesday night. But if the Dubs continue to roll teams after halftime even outside the Chase Center, it should be a very successful trip.