Thompson picks up where he left off as Warriors roll Bulls
The first order of business for the Bulls on Friday was to avoid a repeat of the first time they played the Golden State Warriors.
They failed that test. Klay Thompson knocked down 3-pointers on his team's first three offensive possessions and the Bulls fell behind 14-2 less than 2:30 into the contest. The Warriors never let up and eventually won 146-109 at Oracle Arena, handing the Bulls their sixth straight loss.
Bulls game dayBulls vs. Utah Jazz, at Vivint Smart Home Arena
Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Outlook: The Jazz has struggled to recreate last season's magic, but is playing better. Utah had gone 7-4 in its last 11 games heading into Friday's home date against the Lakers. ... Second-year SG Donovan Mitchell is averaging 20.7 points on the season and 28.3 points in the last three games. C Rudy Gobert is at 14.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. ... Injuries have knocked out Utah's point guards. PG Ricky Rubio has a hamstring issue, Dante Exum and rookie Grayson Allen are sidelined by ankle problems and Raul Neto was expected to miss the Lakers game with a groin strain. ... The Bulls split two games against Utah last season, losing by 30 in Salt Lake City.
Next: Los Angeles Lakers, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Staples Center
-- Mike McGraw
Back on Oct. 29, the Bulls were run off the floor at the United Center to the tune of 149-124, while Thompson scored 52 points and set an NBA record by making 14 3-pointers.
Golden State led 43-17 by the end of the opening quarter, the worst first-quarter deficit in Bulls franchise history. The Bulls did manage a better effort, winning the second quarter 38-33. But that was the extent of the highlights for the visitors.
Thompson finished with 30 points in 25 minutes, hitting 7 of 11 shots from 3-point range. Steph Curry added 28 points and Kevin Durant scored 22.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 29 points, knocking down 10 of 16 shots from the field. The second-leading scorer among Bulls' starters was Lauri Markkanen with 8 points. Bobby Portis added 16 off the bench.
Part of coach Jim Boylen's "road dog" mentality for the Bulls is to play slower and smarter, in an effort to stay competitive. He talked about that philosophy again at Friday's shootaround.
"I think we have to play smart, take our opportunities (to run) when we can because their half court defense is good too," Boylen said. "We call it road dog mentality, where you are making good decisions, running when you can, setting up when you need to and hopefully execute"
The Bulls never made this game competitive, but things got heated in the third quarter. It seemed to escalate when Portis battled for position with Durant off the ball, and Durant threw a punch to Portis' chest.
Portis staggered over toward the Bulls bench and sat down in a sideline seat, clutching his right arm as if he was in pain. While this was going on, Kris Dunn missed a shot, Durant got the rebound and Bulls rookie center Wendell Carter Jr. was hit with a technical foul for complaining about some lack of a foul call.
Curry made the technical free throw as Portis returned to the court and started jawing with Durant. The two had to be separated and Draymond Green joined the argument. When the game resumed, Portis drew a shooting foul and while he was at the free-throw line, both Portis and Durant were given technicals.
Green was slow to calm down, but he eventually was subbed out. The Warriors added to their lead and there was no reason for any of the key players to see the floor in the fourth quarter.
One task on the Bulls' to-do list is to get Markkanen going. He scored 27 points in last week's overtime loss to Indiana, then took just 11 and 12 shots in the next two games. He got 8 shots in limited action against Golden State on Friday.
Markkanen has had some good games, but is still trying to find his way back from a right elbow sprain, which kept him sidelined for the first seven weeks of the regular season. Markkanen started the night averaging 17.0 points and shooting 43.3 percent from the field.
"In fairness to him I think it's safe to say that (elbow) thing isn't 100 percent yet," Boylen said. "Is he close? Yeah. It's got to stick in his mind. That was a very serious injury, that's a very painful injury. Yeah, its going to take some time. But we still have him try to play the right way, be aggressive and handle his moments."