Reeling Warriors hope to recover from Bulls

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January 11, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, United States; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with head coach Steve Kerr (left) after a basket during the second half against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

After absorbing a 26-point beating at the hands of the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, the Eastern Conference leaders Chicago Bulls had a day’s buffer before the rival Golden State Warriors. ‘West, don’t come to town on Friday.

For Bulls top scorer DeMar DeRozan, the key to reunification – and recovery – lies in accepting reality. Yes, the Bulls allowed a 22-0 run covering the third and fourth quarters that got Brooklyn away, but they’re still the same Chicago team that had the third-best winning percentage in the NBA on Thursday.

“This is how we bounce back,” DeRozan said. “Let it sink, let it suck, let it hurt. It seemed that everything was going wrong; obviously this was due to the race they were going on. It was all on us. We’re going to get the best shot from each team.

After Thursday’s 118-99 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State presents a particularly difficult test. The Warriors are touting a nine-game winning streak against the Bulls, including a four-game winning streak in Chicago.

Chicago’s Zach LaVine called Brooklyn’s loss “something to make you a little hungrier.” Coach Billy Donovan agrees.

“I don’t think you throw it away, I think you own it,” Donovan said. “I think our guys have worked really hard so far to be where we are in the standings, and I think with that there is even greater responsibility.

“We have to understand and learn that these are some of the things I talked about from a defensive perspective. … I’m not saying we don’t want to win the game, but we have to understand how to play in games like this.

Golden State, who lost four of five, were down 77-38 at the break in Milwaukee.

“We just got off from a terrible start where everything went wrong on both ends of the pitch,” said Steph Curry, who was limited to 12 points.

Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points to lead Golden State.

“I know we just got our asses kicked, but we’re having a hard time in our season,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It happens to every team every year, pretty much, with a few exceptions. We are in a bit of a rut and we were playing against a team that was ready and played a very good first half. We are a little unbalanced. We just need to get back on track, and we will.

Kerr said the Warriors plan to rest Klay Thompson on Friday as they seek to avoid using him back-to-back in the initial stages of his comeback. Thompson appeared in three games after returning from a 2.5-year absence with an ACL tear and Achilles tendon injury.

The Bulls will lose a starter up front for two to four weeks, as Derrick Jones Jr. suffered bone bruises after hypertensioning his right knee in the first minute against Brooklyn.

Curry propelled Golden State to a 119-93 home win over Chicago on Nov. 12, scoring 40 points on a 15-for-24 shot, including a 9-for-17 accuracy from depth. No enemy has scored more points against the Bulls this season. LaVine led Chicago with 23 points.

– Media at field level

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