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The Warriors had spent six weeks making the credible statement that they would not lose to teams with vastly inferior records, such as those they encountered while winning 11 consecutive games.
The 12th game, on Saturday, would be different. The Warriors went into United Center to face a Bulls team with a significant size advantage and a ferocious defense. The Warriors had lost their last five appearances in Chicago; Stephen Curry, the longest-tenured Warrior, in his sixth season, had never won in the Windy City.
He has now, and he can thank teammate Draymond Green for the gift of victory.
Green's career night highlighted a 112-102 win over the Bulls that gave the Warriors their franchise-record 12th consecutive win.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Warriors corral Bulls, set franchise record]
"This is a special win," Curry said. "We knew this was going to be a big test for us with how defensive-minded they are. They've been playing well recently and had all their guys back. We had to come out and play well."
The win pushed the Warriors' NBA-best record to 17-2 and proved they could triumph in a hostile arena against a high-quality opponent.
Curry being hounded by several defenders, getting particular attention from 6-foot-7 Jimmy Butler, finished with 19 points and seven assists. Klay Thompson put in 24 points and had five assists. Andre Iguodala also had five assists.
It was Green, with a career-high 31 points, including career-high 7-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc, who benefited most from the passing of his teammates.
"(The Bulls) made a decision to live and die by his 3s," Curry said.
That was the plan devised by Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau. Stop Curry. Slow Thompson. Deny the drivers. Make Green deliver. He did.
"Draymond's not the kind of guy that you establish a game plan for," coach Steve Kerr said. "You don't draw up plays for him. Everybody in the league has a hard time guarding pick-and-pop, 3-point shooting 4s. There's only so much court you can cover. The Bulls are as good defensively as anybody. They're incredibly well coached, with length at every position.
"So if you can't stretch them out, they’re going to just squeeze you and it's going to be tough to find room. It just so happened that Draymond made shots tonight."
That Green was the offensive giant is yet another illustration of this team's depth on offense. If it's not Curry or Thompson, if it's not Marreese Speights or Harrison Barnes it might just be Green.
"My teammates continued to look for me," Green said. "I had to knock the shots down. I was able to do it tonight, but I couldn't have done it if they didn't put me in that situation. I was getting wide-open 3s."
Green was phenomenal on multiple levels: 31 points, seven rebounds, four steals, three blocks and three assists.
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The Warriors, using their quickness advantage, ran the Bulls off the floor, outscoring them 28-13 on fast-break points.
The Warriors, once again, summoned their tightest defense in the fourth quarter, which they entered trailing 80-79. They limited the Bulls to 29.2-percent shooting in the decisive quarter.
The Warriors forced 23 Chicago turnovers, off which they scored 27 points.
The Warriors were clobbered on the glass, 50-40; Harrison Barnes, who had been on a rebounding binge, collected zero rebounds in 25 minutes.
The Warriors had no solution for Bulls big man Pau Gasol, who finished with 22 points and 20 rebounds.
Insofar as the Bulls have the roster and the coaching staff to contend for Eastern Conference supremacy, this victory will satisfy Warriors skeptics and bolster the argument of those who believe they are ready to make a serious run at the NBA championship.
More teams are going to use Thibodeau's strategy of attacking Curry with double-teams or rangy defenders. The Warriors won't mind. They're ready for it. If the ball continues to move nicely and Green continues to make defenses pay for ignoring him, coaches will have to devise another plan.