Perhaps the Golden State Warriors were protesting the All-Star snub of Stephen Curry – because they didn’t show up to play in Chicago.
The Warriors (26-16) were absent early and never caught up in a 103-87 loss against the Bulls to start a four-game Eastern Conference road trip on Friday.
Curry scored 21 points but tallied just one assist, as the Warriors could not overcome a deficit as vast as 26 points in the first half. The Warriors never brought the game back to single digits, unable to contend with the interior play or outside shooting of Chicago.
It was redemption night for the Bulls, who led 30-6 in second-chance points. The Bulls destroyed the Warriors on the glass, 56-37 and also outscored the Warriors 36-22 in the paint.
The Warriors starting frontcourt, still missing Andrew Bogut, was outrebounded 41-14.
“We know who we are and we know what we have to do to win ball games,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “Somehow, with the lack of size at times on the floor, we’ve found a way to be very successful thus far during the course of the season.
“It’s a fact that we can still get it done and when we don’t get it done it’s not because a lack of size, it’s because a lack of effort and we weren’t committed tonight.”
The Warriors shot a season-low 34.6 percent and tied a season-low 12 assists. Golden State shot just 21.1 percent from three-point range.
The Warriors have dropped four of their last five games on the road and are now 12-10 in games played away from Oracle Arena.
Jackson was asked after the game if his team simply ran into a Bulls’ buzz saw.
“No, I wish that was the excuse,” Jackson said. “We got outworked; we didn’t have the right mindset to start the game and it just snowballed from there. That was not Warriors basketball.”
David Lee, just a day after being announced as one of seven All-Star reserves for the Western Conference, scored 23 points including 11-for-12 from the free-throw line and added six rebounds.
Only one of Chicago’s pair of All-Stars played on Friday, Joakim Noah, who made it look easy controlling the Bulls offense from the high post. Noah scored 14 points, adding 16 rebounds, four assists, and defensively made things tough for Golden State with three blocks.
The Bulls other All-Star, Luol Deng, did not play because of a right hamstring injury. Jimmy Butler filled in for Deng, playing 42 minutes of defense and tallying a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Social Media Analysis
This is why I ask when boguts returning.. We won't last in the playoffs if we don't have the size! #WarriorsTalk— Always_A_Raider (@raidergabe) January 26, 2013
No Rose, No Problem
The Bulls (26-16) now have the third best record in the Eastern Conference all without their superstar point guard Derrick Rose, still out recovering from knee surgery.
Kirk Hinrich filled in just fine against Golden State. Hinrich scored a season-high 25 points on a season-high six three-pointers. Hinrich, who averages 6.5 points per game, shot 8-for-11 from the field and added four assists.
Former Warriors guard Nate Robinson scored 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting. Not generally a strong three-point shooting team, the Bulls connected on 9-for-20 from three-point range.
The Warriors did not sign Nate Robinson this offseason after the reserve guard averaged 11.2 points and 4.5 assists in 51 games for the Warriors last season.
The combination of Hinrich and Robinson outscored the duo of Curry and Jarrett Jack, 47-32.
All five starters for Chicago were in double-figure scoring.
Stat of the night
The last time the Warriors had a game with two quarters of 16 points or fewer in a game came in Milwaukee on Nov. 13, 2010. In that game, the Warriors got 24 points from Monta Ellis, who they will face in Milwaukee on Saturday.
On Friday, the Warriors scored 13 points in the first quarter and 16 points in the third quarter.
An early hole
Golden State trailed by as many as 26 points at the 5:05 mark of the second quarter before going on a 12-0 run. The Warriors cut the Bulls' lead to 63-50 at halftime.
The Bulls won the interior battle in the first half against the Warriors, outscoring the Warriors 28-12 in the paint and winning the rebounding battle 29-12 through the first two quarters.
The Warriors trailed 31-13 after the first quarter, shooting 22.7 from the field and losing second-chance points 13-0. The Warriors never led.