What we learned as Warriors hold off charging Bulls for win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors opened a rare home back-to-back on Friday night at Chase Center like they have most of the time this season, getting back in the win column with a 119-111 victory against the Chicago Bulls.
In a game that never should have been this close — the Warriors once led by 19 points at one point — Golden State escaped with a nail-biting win that came down to the final minute. The win makes the Warriors 12-11 on the season, and 10-1 at home.
This time, it was Jordan Poole‘s turn to put on a wet suit and remind us all that a Poole Party can be had in December. After a month where he couldn’t quite find his shot, Poole came out aggressive yet under control in perhaps his best game of the year. The numbers don’t lie.
Poole played 23 minutes and scored 30 points, his third 30-point game this season. Klay Thompson was right behind with 26 points, and was a plus-11 in plus/minus. Steph Curry added 19 points as well, along with 11 rebounds and six assists — but also six turnovers and five fouls.
While the Warriors will take the win, it seeped of sloppiness. They’ll have to fix their mistakes before hitting floor against the Houston Rockets in under 24 hours.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ eight-point win over the Bulls.
Ahh, A New Month
The main the topic of conversation surrounding Poole on Thursday at Warriors practice were his struggles this season this season from behind the 3-point line. Coming into Friday night, Poole was shooting a lowly 30.5 percent from deep for the season, far below his 36.4-percent clip from last season. In 15 games last month, Poole made only 28.4 percent of his tries from downtown, going 29-for-102.
Every day is a new opportunity, and the Warriors’ win marked their first game of December. Poole clearly liked putting November behind in.
With Curry in early foul trouble, Poole caught fire early for the Warriors. He scored 14 points in the first quarter alone, going 5-for-8 from the field and 4-for-7 on 3-pointers. Poole made four or more three only twice in all of November.
His hot shooting didn’t stop there. Poole wound up going 11-for-18 from the field and 7-for-13 behind the 3-point line. That marks a new season-high in 3-pointers, which ties his second-best clip of his career.
Commander In Control
There is no comparison to the way Draymond plays the game. He’s a 1-of-1, now and forever. Friday night was the latest example.
Green played at his own pace, controlling the game offensively and defensively. Often times acting like the Warriors’ version of an All-Pro quarterback, he even whipped out his wide receiver skills in this one.
Playing 36 minutes, Green stuffed the stat sheet for Golden State and fell one rebound shy of a triple-double double. He scored 13 points to go with 10 assists and nine rebounds. Draymond went 4-for-6 from the field and made two of his three 3-point attempts. His plus-18 was seven points higher than any other Warriors.
Plus, this was the first time he made multiple 3-pointers in a game this season. The second was the biggest shot of the night.
Plenty To Clean Up
The Bulls play a much different style than the Warriors, and did their best to take advantage of that early on. Entering the night, the Bulls ranked seventh in the NBA in free throws made per game. On the other side, the Warriors commit the most fouls per game and watch their opponents both attempts the most free throws per game in the league and make the most as well.
In the first quarter, it looked like it was going to be one of those nights. The Warriors were called for five fouls in the first four minutes. Over the first quarter, the Warriors fouled the Bulls eight times and saw them shoot 12 free throws — all while taking only three themselves.
And it wasn’t only the fouls that hurt them. The Warriors in the first half committed 12 turnovers, with the Bulls scoring 17 points off them. The trend hurt them again in the fourth quarter as well.
Down the stretch, the Warriors settled for far too many tries from long distance and got careless with the ball. They ended up turning the ball over 20 times, and the Bulls turned those into 27 points. They also were called for 28 fouls as defending without fouling continues to be a problem.
A win’s a win. The Warriors’ 12th win of the season also comes with a bit of a sour aftertaste.