Short-handed Bulls can’t match the Warriors in 31-point loss

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OAKLAND – With everyone in the lineup, the Bulls looked impressive in a win at Oklahoma City.

Even without Jimmy Butler, the team managed a split in their second and third games of a six-stop West Coast swing. Dwyane Wade’s 31 points helped pull out the latter game against the Kings.

But when both Butler and Wade were out of the lineup facing the best team in the NBA, the chance of victory was quite slim. In fact, just keeping the game close would figure to be an obstacle.

Indeed that was the case when the Bulls took to the floor to face the Warriors on Wednesday night. Down their top two scorers, the Bulls fell behind early and never caught back up in a 123-92 drubbing at the hands of the defending Western Conference champions.

With Butler out for a third-straight game with a heel injury and Wade unavailable due to illness, the 31-point margin of defeat was the worst for the Bulls this season.

All five Golden State starters were in double figures led by Klay Thompson’s 28 points with Kevin Durant chipping in 22. They took a 13-point lead in the first quarter and never truly threatened the rest of the way in improving their record an NBA-best 44-8.

Led by the veterans, the Bulls kept the game from getting completely away from them till the final 12 minutes. In the third quarter Robin Lopez (team-high 17 points) got the lead down to 11 three times but that was the last run the Bulls would make.

With the Bulls’ younger players struggling and Paul ZipzerĀ out of the game with an injury, the Golden State outscored the Bulls 37-22 in the final quarter to push the final margin to 31 points.

With both Butler and Wade out of the lineup, however, what more could you expect from the team that’s endured an injury-riddled road trip.