Instant Replay: Bulls 113, Warriors 95

Warriors look anemic against fiery Bulls

Instant Replay: Bulls 113, Warriors 95
March 15, 2013, 9:45 pm
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After shooting just 36.8 percent against the Kings, Chicago finished 43-of-83 (51.8 percent) and was aided by a 19-of-22 night from the free-throw line. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

BOX SCORE

Decimated by injuries and fresh off a 42-point loss at Sacramento on Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls were ripe for the picking.
 
Or maybe not.
 
Former Warrior Nate Robinson scored 20 points in just three quarters and Chicago quickly put its disastrous performance behind it with a 113-95 win against Golden State Friday at Oracle Arena.
 
"I don't think it says anything about their team getting drilled by 40 to Sacramento because at the end of the day, they came in and handled their business and I would expect us to respond in the same way," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "What it says is we were bad tonight. Embarrassing effort, disappointing and we'll move on."
 
The loss leaves the Warriors (37-30) a half-game ahead of Houston for the No. 6 spot in the Western-Conference standings with 15 games left and caps their season-long seven-game home stand with a 4-3 record. 
 
Jackson and veteran guard Jarrett Jack agreed in that the team's effort was severely lacking.
 
"For us, that's just embarrassing," Jack said. "From the jump ball all the way down to the last play, they outplayed us. It's embarrassing to us, this coaching staff, the organization, the fans that have been here and support us nonstop. We have a chance to correct it on (Sunday), but we can't overlook this kind of effort."
 
It was the second standout performance against the Warriors this season for Robinson, who briefly attended James Logan High in Union City. He also went for 22 points in the Bulls' 103-87 win in Chicago on Jan. 25.
 
"Nate was great for me (last year)," said Jackson at the Friday shootaround. "I love him and I'm happy for him. He certainly made my job easier last year."
 
It was the opposite on Friday.
 
Robinson started his sixth straight game in place of injured Kirk Hinrich, who was sidelined along with Taj Gibson and Richard Hamilton. He added seven assists and a steal.
 
Robinson's counterpart at the point, Stephen Curry, finished just 2-of-13 from the field and went without a three for the first time in 53 consecutive games. The streak ranked as the second-longest active streak in the NBA behind Atlanta's Kyle Korver (57). 
 
Curry was far from alone in his offensive struggles. The starting-five combined to score just 43 points. 
 
After shooting just 36.8 percent against the Kings, Chicago finished 43-of-83 (51.8 percent) against Golden State and was aided by a 19-of-22 night from the free-throw line. 
 
Joakim Noah, a teammate of David Lee on the 2004-05 Florida Gators team which was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Luol Deng led all scorers with 23 points.
 
Chicago jumped out to a 20-10 lead at the 5:27 mark of the first quarter, but the Warriors closed on a 17-8 run to make it 28-27 at the end of the quarter. Both teams were 12-of-21 from the field in the first, but Golden State cooled off significantly after that.
 
On the relatively even start, Jackson said: "We were bad and getting away with it. There ws a point during a timeout that we were down seven and thrilled to be there. We had no business being there. We just did not play well. We did not meet their intensity and that is the disappointing part of it because the fact of the matter is, we are not going to win ball games if we don't do that."
 
The Warriors were 9-of-23 (39.1 percent) in the second quarter as the Bulls began to pull away. Chicago led 56-46 at halftime and extended the lead to 21 less than four minutes into the second half courtesy of a Robinson three. 
 
As if things couldn't get much worse for Golden State, Andris Biedrins -- seeing his first playing time after four consecutive benchings -- air-balled a free throw with the Warriors trailing by 27 later in the quarter. Chicago led by as many as 36 before the margin narrowed in garbage time.
 
Notes
 
- Kent Bazemore scored a career-high 14 points in 12 minutes off the bench for Golden State.
 
- Draymond Green had been listed as questionable due to a bone bruise in his left ankle, but after going through shootaround in the morning, it was determined he was good to go. Green was held scoreless in 16 minutes.
 
- The Warriors did not have a shot blocked for the second consecutive game, which is the first time that has happend in franchise history since the block became an official statistic in the 1973-74 season.
 
- The loss marked the third and final time the Warriors will wear their short-sleeve yellow jerseys this season. Their lone win in the jerseys came against Golden State.
 
- Malcolm Thomas had a career-high two points and a career-high ten minutes.
 
Next up -- at Houston, Sunday
 
Biggest game of the season? A loss drops Golden State to the No. 7 spot in the West, which at season's end would likely mean a first-round matchup with either San Antonio or Oklahoma City. 
 
Houston has won all three against the Warriors this year, including a 140-109 shellacking the first time in Houston. 
 
Scoreboard Watching
 
Houston 108, Minnesota 100: Houston (36-30) overcame an 18-point halftime deficit behind 37 points from James Harden and 24 from Jeremy Lin and now sit just a half-game behind Golden State.
 
Lakers 99, Indiana 93: Despite his "severe" ankle sprain, Kobe Bryant started for Los Angeles (35-32), but did not return after playing the entire first quarter. Bryant didn't score, but it didn't matter as five Lakers scored at least 15 points, including 20 from Dwight Howard. 
 
Dallas 96, Cleveland 86: The Mavericks (31-34) remain three games back of Los Angeles for the final playoff spot.