Golden State taste straight de­feats, for only sec­ond time in two years

New Straits Times - - Sport -

GOLDEN State, ad­just­ing to life without in­jured Kevin Durant, fell to the Chicago Bulls on Thurs­day, just the sec­ond time in nearly two years the War­riors have suf­fered back-to-back NBA reg­u­lar-sea­son de­feats.

Jimmy But­ler scored 22 points to lead four Bulls play­ers in dou­ble-fig­ures in the 94-87 tri­umph.

The War­riors’ points to­tal was their sea­son low, and they lost a sec­ond straight reg­u­lar-sea­son con­test for the first time since April of 2015.

The War­riors had fallen 112-108 to the Wash­ing­ton Wizards on Tues­day, when Durant limped out of the game in the first quar­ter with what was later di­ag­nosed as a left knee lig­a­ment sprain and bone bruise.

The for­mer NBA Most Valu­able Player will be side­lined in­def­i­nitely, al­though the War­riors, who have al­ready se­cured a play­off berth, haven’t ruled out a re­turn be­fore the end of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“Ob­vi­ously, you feel for him and want him to get healthy as fast as pos­si­ble but not rush it be­cause we have a long jour­ney ahead of us go­ing into the play­offs,” twotime NBA MVP Stephen Curry said. “Next man up men­tal­ity, but ob­vi­ously it will be tough to re­place a guy like KD.”

Curry led the War­riors with 23 points, but he and “Splash Brother” team­mate Klay Thomp­son com­bined to make just three of 22 three-point at­tempts.

Over­all, the War­riors were six-for-30 from three-point range in the de­feat. Thomp­son added 13 points and Dray­mond Green contributed a dozen in the de­feat.

The War­riors had led 51-47 at half­time, and erased a five-point deficit with 9:09 to play thanks to three bas­kets from Curry and a driv­ing layup from David West that gave Golden State an 85-84 lead with 5:43 to go.

But Golden State couldn’t main­tain the mo­men­tum.

Vet­eran Dwyane Wade scored 12 points for Chicago, putting the Bulls up 88-85 with 2:16 re­main­ing.

Bulls re­serve Paul Zipser closed out a 7-0 scor­ing run with three-pointer that stretched Chicago’s lead to six points with 1:41 to play.

With the War­riors struggling from the floor, Chicago closed out the vic­tory with a se­ries of free-throws.

The Bulls won for the fifth time in six games im­prov­ing to 31-30 — sixth in the East­ern Con­fer­ence.

The War­riors slipped to 50-11 — still the best record in the league.

RE­SULTS: Port­land 114 Ok­la­homa City 109, Phoenix 120 Char­lotte 103, Chicago 94 Golden State 87.

Ob­vi­ously, you feel for him and want him to get healthy as fast as pos­si­ble but not rush it be­cause we have a long jour­ney ahead of us go­ing into the play­offs.”

STEPHEN CURRY Golden State player


War­riors’ Stephen Curry (right) tries to move away from Bulls’ Je­rian Grant dur­ing their NBA game in Los An­ge­les on Thurs­day.

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