The Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-87 on Thursday night. Chicago could not stop Stephen Curry, who led all players with 34 points. The Bulls' lack of scoring continues to be their Achilles' heel.
Both teams came into the game with injuries. The Warriors were without David Lee and Andrew Bogut, while the Bulls were without Carlos Boozer.
The Bulls looked like the dominant team early on. They jumped out to a 29-16 lead after the first, but it was all Warriors from that point on. Golden State came to life in the second, outscoring the Bulls 34-17. Chicago never held the lead again after the 8:25 mark of the third.
Steph Curry carried his team to victory with 34 points on a very efficient 13-19 from the field. He did it without the help of both starting big men. According to ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell, the Bulls had no answer for him:
Bulls had no answer for Curry tonight. He got hot and they didn't know what to do. 102-87 Warriors win.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) February 7, 2014
According to Chicago Tribune writer K.C. Johnson, Joakim Noah had a career-high 11 assists and Taj Gibson scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Bulls:
Bulls drop to 2-3 on trip with loss to Warriors. Gibson ties career-high with 26 points. Noah sets career-high with 11 assists. 17 TOs hurt.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 7, 2014
Golden State is 10 games over .500 with the win. That is good for sixth place in the West. They could fall anywhere from fourth to eighth by the season's end and should be a lock for the playoffs with Curry leading the way.
Going forward, Chicago has enough to stay afloat in the weak Eastern Conference, but the Bulls just do not have the offensive firepower to hang with the teams in the West. Their record against the Western Conference stands at just 6-13.
Where Will the Bulls Finish in the East?
Their defense continues to be great: According to ESPN, they allow the second-lowest points per game. However, they have the worst offense in the league at just 92.1 points per contest.
When D.J. Augustin is your team's second-leading scorer it's going to be hard to go anywhere in the playoffs. He is an NBA journeyman who was cut by Toronto earlier this year. This is his fourth team in four years.
Coach Tom Thibodeau will continue to get the most out of his players, but the current roster just does not have enough to make a deep push in the playoffs. After the loss, they stand in sixth place in the East.
Another Rose-less year will go to waste in Chicago. Just two years ago they looked like the team that would be taking down the Heat and competing for the NBA Championship.