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5 results from their 3rd consecutive win


SAN FRANCISCO — Midway through the third quarter of the Chicago Bulls’ third straight win, DeMar DeRozan drove through the paint and was fouled on a hook shot, then turned to his teammates with clenched fists and jaw for a quick shot. command: “Calm down… calm down.”

DeRozan was right. The Bulls needed to calm down. On the road against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, they erased an early 13-point deficit to close out a 13-point deficit in the first half, but allowed that lead to grow back to five points in the first five minutes of the second half.

This was not the championship-caliber version of Golden State. But even in a down season, the Warriors are experienced, crafty and well-equipped to upset a team like the Bulls that are just starting a winning streak. The Warriors also played to their strengths, stepping up the game and pushing the ball in transition to disrupt the Bulls as much as possible.

But DeRozan’s message was received loud and clear.

“We felt like we were starting to play their game and that doesn’t suit us.” center Nikola Vučević said. “We were just talking about slowing down, taking your time and making the right reads. This is something we are better at as a team; responding correctly, listening and adapting when someone says something. And he showed that tonight.”

The change wasn’t immediate, but the Bulls finished the third quarter with an 18-8 run to lead by 10 points. Of course, that didn’t last long as the Warriors launched another attack. However, under the leadership of the experienced duo, the Bulls kept their cool and achieved their third consecutive victory and 22nd victory of the season.

Here are five takeaways from the win.

1. Veterans are taking the lead

DeRozan and Vučević don’t always have to dominate. But against a Warriors team led by Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Chris Paul, experience was needed to achieve victory.

Vučević took advantage of Golden State’s weakness and scored easily, scoring 13 points in the first quarter alone to reach a 33-point performance. DeRozan went the other way, scoring 33 points; He could only score four points in the first quarter. Scored nine points in the fourth quarter.

In addition to shooting from the field, DeRozan committed 10 fouls to slow the pace of the game and get the Warriors into foul trouble early. He finished the game with a score of 11-of-10 from the free throw line.

2. Bulls win from behind the arc

Most NBA fans are used to seeing the Warriors dominate from behind the arc, but the Bulls have flipped that script. The Bulls outscored the Warriors 48-33 from three-point range and finished the game trailing 16-for-36, while Golden State shot 11-for-42.

Vučević and DeRozan finished the game with a score of 3-for-6 from 3-point range, while Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White, Jevon Carter and Onuralp Bitim recorded two three-pointers each. The Warriors made six of their 11 3-pointers in the first quarter and cooled off after the first frame.

3. Warriors lost two stars in the last four minutes

Warriors’ Stephen Curry grimaces in pain as he walks off the court with an injury in the fourth quarter against the Bulls at Chase Center on March 7, 2024. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

The Warriors were fully healthy — a welcome change in an injury-plagued season — but finished the game with their two best players off the court.

Curry sprained his ankle with 3:54 left in regulation time, immediately went to the locker room for evaluation and did not return. He had 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting before his injury. Coach Steve Kerr did not provide any additional injury updates after the game.

With the team’s leading scorer already out of the game, the Bulls successfully put away another Warriors veteran when Alex Caruso drew an offensive foul on Draymond Green with 58 seconds remaining. White picked up his fifth foul four minutes earlier when he stepped into Green’s path. Caruso’s offensive takeover ended Green’s night a minute early and gave the Bulls the upper hand in personnel.

4. Torrey Craig returns

Power forward Torrey Craig He made a limited return from a right knee sprain suffered during the All-Star break. Before the game, coach Billy Donovan said Craig would be restricted to 12 to 16 minutes of playing time in an effort to limit consecutive minutes played.

Craig recorded two assists, one rebound and one block in 14 minutes.

5. Bulls continue their winning streak

Nikola Vucevic dribbles in the second quarter against Draymond Green of the Warriors on March 7, 2024.  (Kavin Mistry/Getty Images)
Nikola Vucevic dribbles in the second quarter against the Warriors’ Draymond Green on March 7, 2024. (Kavin Mistry/Getty Images)

It’s been difficult for the Bulls to break the winning streak this season. But with Thursday’s win, the Bulls have won three straight games and remain just one game away from returning to .500 for the first time since the opening month.

The Bulls will have the opportunity to sweep the entire trip by playing one final West Coast game on Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers before returning to Chicago.


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