What we learned as Warriors suffer ugly road loss to Bulls originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay area
The Warriors once again took a step back on the road in a frustrating 132-118 loss Sunday to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.
After dominating the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night at the Alamodome, the Warriors reversed back to their sloppiness away from Chase Center. Right from the start, they put themselves in a major hole by not taking care of the ball and playing lousy defense. The Warriors came roaring back in the second quarter, but a corner wasn’t turned.
To start off the first night of a back-to-back, the Warriors were highly outplayed by a Bulls team that didn’t have DeMar DeRozan, had lost three in a row and four of their last five. Chicago center Nikola Vucevic was unstoppable against the Warriors’ depleted frontcourt, scoring a career-high tying 43 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
This was an ugly one. The Bulls attempted 12 more shots than the Warriors, made six more free throws, scored 24 more points in the paint than them and turned the ball over 13 fewer times.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points and eight 3-pointers, followed by 20 points from Steph Curry, who went 3-for-10 from beyond the arc. Anthony Lamb scored 14 points off the bench in the first half, but was held scoreless in the second.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors dropping to 4-17 on the road.
Rinse And Repeat
As the Warriors have been searching for ways to stack together road wins, they keep putting themselves in holes with fouling and turnovers. On Friday night in San Antonio, the Warriors fouled the Spurs 14 times in the first half and watched them take 20 free throws. They ended up being whistled for 26 fouls and the Spurs attempted 34 free throws.
But the Warriors couldn’t be stopped on offense and were relatively smart with the ball. Golden State gave away only five turnovers in the first half of an eventual 31-point win.
On Sunday, the Warriors turned it over seven times in the first quarter alone. The Warriors cleaned it up in the second quarter, which helped them go from trailing by 15 points after one quarter to leading by three at halftime. Unfortunately for them, the turnovers never stopped.
The Warriors turned the ball over 23 times and the Bulls took advantage of their many mistakes. Chicago turned those turnovers into 31 points. Curry totaled eight turnovers, his most of him this season.
The Bulls also went 21-for-24 from the charity stripe. That’s not a winning recipe for the Warriors.
Wiggins’ Struggles Continue
While Andrew Wiggins has shown plenty of flashes of his defensive prowess since returning from a 15-game absence, his shot has been behind. He has struggled in all three phases, and that continued Sunday in Chicago.
Wiggins went 4-for-13 from the field, 2-for-8 from 3-point range and 1-for-4 at the free-throw line. The high-flier even missed a dunk. It was one of those nights for one of the Warriors’ top players.
In his first game back, Wiggins admitted he felt slow and a step behind. Defensively, he has shown he still can stay with anybody and body up with bigger players. Offensively, he’s off right now. There’s no denying that.
Through four games since coming back from an adductor strain and an illness, Wiggins is shooting 34.5 percent (20-for-58) from the field, 22.2 percent from deep (6-for-27) and 42.9 percent on free throws (3- for-7).
Making An Impression
Soon, the Warriors will have a handful of decisions to make and questions to answer. That’s especially true with the upcoming NBA trade deadline. The front office has under four weeks to make a move by Feb. 9 and add help to the defending champions.
Bulls guard Alex Caruso is reportedly a Warriors trade candidate, and has been connected to them more than one. The Warriors’ loss was another reminder why.
Caruso nearly had a triple-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. He also had two steals and was a game-high plus-24 in plus/minus. Watch him play, and it’s clear how valuable Caruso would be on a contender.
Steve Kerr has spoken highly about Caruso in the past. Witnessing Caruso stuff the stat sheet and be active all over the floor couldn’t have been easy, and might have been Example A of what he needs when speaking with the front office.