What a difference a day makes. Things could not have been more grim for the Golden State Warriors than they were at halftime of their Thursday night game against the Milwaukee Bucks, in which they trailed 77-38.
But less than 24 hours later, the Dubs again entered the visitor’s locker room for a halftime discussion after 24 minutes against one of the East’s top teams. This time it was the Chicago Bulls. And this time the Warriors led 78-47.
It was all Warriors from the start. A day after showing no offensive ability whatsoever, Golden State — sans Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Gary Payton II — came out of the gates firing, with made threes on four of their first five possessions.
They were just getting started.
The offense clicked on all cylinders in the first quarter, with the ball moving far faster than the defense, and the Dubs putting up 37 points ... only one fewer than in the entire first half in Milwaukee.
There would be no letdown, either, though in Chicago’s defense, star guard Zach LaVine left the game early with an injury. Here’s hoping he’s OK.
While the offense was brilliant from the start, it took until the second quarter for the defense to match the energy. But when they did, things fully took off, resulting in one of the best quarters of the season for the Dubs: Golden State 41, Chicago 19.
Andrew Wiggins was sensational in the quarter, and finished the game with 21 points and 6 assists on 8-for-11 shooting. Steph Curry went to work, finishing with 19 points on 7-for-15 shooting, with a good-to-see 4-for-10 outing from distance.
And in the second half, Golden State played like it was a close game, not a massive blowout. With the lead flirting with, or in excess of 40 for most of the half, the Dubs still brought the energy, and still healthily outscored Chicago. Jordan Poole was brilliant in the half, and finished with 22 points and 5 assists on 8-for-19 shooting.
But the star was Jonathan Kuminga, who had a very strong first half, which he then topped with a thoroughly dominant second half. Kuminga had far and away his best game as a pro, showing off the jumper, the handles, the athleticism, the defense, the finesse, and the flash, finishing with a game-high 25 points on 10-for-12 shooting, with 3 blocks as well.
It was a coming out party, of sorts, and it helped the final score look as lopsided as the game was. Golden State shot 55.9% from the field and 43.9% from the three-point line, dished 39 assists to just 7 turnovers, and won 138-96.
In case anyone was wondering if the Warriors, who entered the night with four losses in their last five games, were no longer good ... sorry, they are.