Warriors, finally at full strength, host Bulls

Mar 7, 2024, 12:00 PM

Coby White #0 of the Chicago Bulls controls the ball against the Golden State Warriors on January 1...

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Two teams coming off emotional wins get an opportunity to demonstrate which has more left in the tank when the Chicago Bulls visit the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in San Francisco.

The Bulls will be seeking a third straight win on their four-game Western swing after outfinishing the Utah Jazz 119-117 on the road in a tense affair Wednesday night.

DeMar DeRozan had 29 points and Coby White 25 for Chicago, but they were pressed into 38 and 42 minutes, respectively, of action in the tightly contested game.

All three other Bulls starters — Ayo Dosunmu (36), Alex Caruso (34) and Nikola Vucevic (31) — also went 31 or more minutes in a game neither team led by more than 12 points.

As if the big minutes weren’t enough, several Bulls — including assistant coach Chris Fleming — got involved in two late scuffles. Chicago’s Torrey Craig and Utah’s John Collins were assessed technical fouls, but there were no ejections. Craig was on the bench and did not play due to injury.

“Chris Fleming, I think, was trying to hold everybody off to kind of separate,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “And then from there, it just kind of escalated … We’ve got to be better in those moments.”

The Warriors, meanwhile, responded to an embarrassing loss at Boston on Sunday with arguably their best effort of the season in a 125-90 shellacking of the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.

Stephen Curry led the way with 29 points, but the most impressive performance of the night was turned in by Trayce Jackson-Davis. The rookie recorded four blocks, including a pair against Giannis Antetokounmpo in an electrifying five-second flurry in the third quarter.

Steve Kerr was able to get all 15 of his players in uniform into the game, none for more than 31 minutes, on a night when Andrew Wiggins’ return from a four-game absence for personal reasons gave the Golden State coach all hands on deck for the first time this season.

Kerr had warned his guys beforehand that playing time they might have gotten recently while Chris Paul and Gary Payton II were out with injuries might not be available for the time being.

“You just do the math,” he said. “There’s going to be some people who are left out of the rotation. There’s no getting around it. So we’re just trying to do what we think is right based on how we’ve been playing, and who’s been playing, and who’s been playing well.”

Veteran big men Kevon Looney and Dario Saric appeared to be two victims of the maxxed-out depth Wednesday when they played just six and four minutes, respectively. Meanwhile, Moses Moody, who was promoted from third string to the starting lineup with Wiggins out, was used with the second unit and got 21 minutes.

Seven of the 10 reserves who saw action against the Bucks got into the scoring column, while all 10 recorded positive plus/minus totals.

The Warriors, who have won 12 of 15, will be seeking to sweep the two-game season series from the Bulls. Klay Thompson (30), Curry (27) and Jonathan Kuminga (24) combined for 81 points when Golden State won 140-131 at Chicago on Jan. 12.

DeRozan had 39 points in 41 minutes for the Bulls in that one.

–Field Level Media



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Warriors, finally at full strength, host Bulls