While much closer this time, the Bulls still can’t upend the Warriors

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CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 17: Nick Young #6 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball against the Chicago Bulls on January 17, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – The last time they played, the statistics were a bit staggering. That’s just how bad the Bulls were back on November 24th.

At one point Fred Hoiberg’s team was tied at 40 with the Warriors at Oracle Arena – and it didn’t go so well after that. Outscored 103-54 to end the game, the Bulls were saddled with an embarrassing 49-point loss to the defending champions that was arguably the lowlight of their ten-game losing streak.

Oh, and Golden State didn’t even have Kevin Durant for that game.

Fast forward two months later, and the return game for the Warriors was reflective of the state of the Bulls as a whole over the last six weeks. They were healthier, more competitive, more cohesive, and up for putting up at least a fight against the NBA’s best.

Yet at the end of the day an eager Bulls team simply didn’t have enough for Golden State, even without Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala in the lineup. A big third quarter by the Warriors in which they outscored their hosts 32-12 was enough to stand up to a fourth quarter rally by the Bulls in a 119-112 victory at the United Center.

While 42 points closer this time, the defeat knocks the Bulls down to 17-28 on the season. Klay Thompson (38 points, 7 three-pointers) and Stephen Curry (30 points, 6 three-pointers) paced the Warriors while Nikola Mirotic led Chicago with 24 off the bench with Kris Dunn and Robin Lopez each chipping in 16.

Right from the start the Bulls were much more up to the challenge against the superteam, hanging with the group during an active opening quarter. David Nwaba’s dunk to beat the horn gave the Bulls a two-point lead at the end of the quarter and they increased the lead by one heading to halftime.

That’s when the Warriors showed their trademark offensive explosiveness, using a 25-2 run to turn the game into a rout with twelve minute to go. Yet the Bulls weren’t Dunn and twice in the final two minutes cut the lead to five, including a steal and dunk by Dunn that was marred when he fell face first onto the floor. He would have to leave the game, yet a tip-in by Mirotic with 50 second left got the game back within five.

But that’s all the Bulls had for the defending champs, but at least the effort was quite a bit more respectable this time around.

After the game the Bulls released the following update on Dunn

Chicago Bulls guard Kris Dunn chipped and dislocated two front teeth when he fell with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter in tonight’s game against the Golden State Warriors. He was also evaluated for potential concussion and at this time is clear of concussion symptoms. He will be re-evaluated Thursday at which time we will provide an update.

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