Without their superstar, the Golden State Warriors looked like a lost team whose season was slipping away from them.
That all changed with the return of the two-time NBA MVP.
Stephen Curry finished with 32 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 21 points to lead the Dubs to a 116-102 win over the Chicago Bulls.
The victory snaps the Warriors’ four-game losing streak and helps them inch closer to the .500 mark for the season.
The Dubs looked like a much different team with Curry on the court. The team looked lost in its previous two losses, struggling to find any footing on both ends of the floor. You could notice the difference from the get-go. Golden State looked sharp with its general back in the fold, shooting 50.5 percent from the field and connected on 16-of-38 of its 3-point attempts.
“It’s so obvious, he just changes everything,” head coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “The game becomes so much easier for the whole team. So it opened things up for us, and I thought every guy on the floor played well. Every single guy.”
The Warriors also got another solid out from Draymond Green, who finished with 11 points, five rebounds and nine assists.
“He’s [Curry] the heart and soul of what we do. [Steph] and Draymond together are our leaders, and what they do together complements one another and complements our team,” Kerr said. “I think the last few games it’s been tough without that dynamic, of Steph running off screens, spreading the floor, bringing his life and juice.”
Golden State’s second unit did a great job helping to close things out. The Dubs held an 11-point lead going into the fourth and the bench extended it to 17 less than five minutes into the quarter.
With Curry back on the court, the Dubs looked much better on the offensive end. The Warriors looked smoother on the offensive end and took an early 16-14 lead.
Golden State came into the game third in fouls per game but didn’t commit a single one over the opening 12 minutes. Curry looked sharp early, finishing with 13 points as the Dubs held a 34-29 lead after one quarter.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the second. The Bulls took advantage of Curry being on the bench and equaled things up at 43-43 by the time Steph got back into the game.
It remained tight the rest of the quarter. The teams exchanged baskets most of the way, but the highlight of the half came with the Warriors up 55-54.
Hold that follow-through, Dray pic.twitter.com/KhCUybAdX7— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 30, 2021
That was Green’s second (!!!!) 3-pointer of the half, and it helped Golden State go on a run at the end of the quarter to take a 65-60 lead into the break. Curry was his usual amazing-self in the first half, finishing with 18 points.
It remained tight through the third quarter. Chicago forward Patrick Williams hit an 18-foot jumper that brought the Bulls to within two. But the Warriors took began to pull away from there.
Curry scored the next seven points, while Green connected on his third 3-pointer of the contest, helping Golden State take a 96-85 after three.
Regardless of the competition, this was a big win for the Dubs. They needed to get back on track after going 1-4 without Curry and stay in the hunt for a play-in spot. Golden State will hit the for a three-game trip that begins on Thursday against the Miami Heat.