What we learned when the Warriors held off the Bulls for the win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — Friday night at the Chase Center the Warriors opened a rare back-to-back home run as they have most this season, getting back in the win column with a 119-111 win against the Chicago Bulls.
In a game that should never have been this close — the Warriors once led by 19 points at one point — Golden State escaped with a nail-biting victory that went all the way to the last minute. The win puts 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 that in December you can have a Poole Party. After a month of failing to find his chance, Poole came out aggressive but in control in perhaps his best game of the year. 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 it was a plus-11 plus/minus. Steph Curry also added 19 points, along with 11 rebounds and six assists, as well as six turnovers and five fouls.
While the Warriors will take the win, it seeped in sloppiness. They will have to fix their mistakes before taking the field against the Houston Rockets in less than 24 hours.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ eight-point win over the Bulls.
Ahh, a new month
The main topic of conversation around Poole at Warriors practice Thursday was his struggles this season from behind the 3-point line. Coming into Friday night, Poole was shooting a modest 30.5 percent from deep for the season, far below his clip of 36.4 percent from last season. In 15 matches last month, Poole made just 28.4 per cent of his tries from the centre, going 29 for 102.
Every day is a new opportunity, and the Warriors win marked their first game of December. Poole clearly enjoyed putting November behind him.
With Curry in early trouble, Poole caught fire early for the Warriors. He scored 14 points in the first quarter alone, going 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Poole made four or more threes just twice in all of November.
His hot shooting didn’t stop there. Poole ended up going 11-of-18 from the field and 7-of-13 behind the 3-point line. That marks a new season-high in 3-pointers, which ties his second career-best clip of him.
Commander in control
There is no comparison to the way Draymond plays. It’s a 1 on 1, now and forever. Friday night was the latest example.
Green played at his own pace, controlling the game offensively and defensively. Often acting as the Warriors’ version of an All-Pro quarterback, he even showed off his wide receiver skills in this one.
Playing 36 minutes, Green filled out the stat sheet for Golden State and fell one rebound short of a triple-double-double. He had 13 points to go with 10 assists and nine rebounds. Draymond went 4-of-6 from the field and made two of his three 3-point attempts. His plus-18 was seven points higher than any other Warriors.
Also, this was the first time he had made multiple 3-pointers in a game this season. The second was the biggest hit of the evening.
Lots to clean up
The Bulls play in a very different style than the Warriors and did their best to capitalize on that early on. Going into the night, the Bulls ranked seventh in the NBA in free throws made per game. On the flip side, the Warriors commit the most fouls per game and watch their opponents both attempt the most free throws per game in the league and also get the most.
The first quarter looked like it was going to be one of those nights. The Warriors were called for five fouls in the first four minutes. In the first quarter, the Warriors fouled the Bulls eight times and saw them throw 12 free throws, all while hitting just three.
And it wasn’t just the fouls that hurt them. The Warriors had 12 turnovers in the first half, with the Bulls scoring 17 points on them. The trend also hurt them again in the fourth quarter.
RELATED: Five standout stats from Warriors’ erratic November
Down the stretch, the Warriors settled for too many long-range tries and were careless with the ball. They ended up turning the ball over 20 times, and the Bulls turned them over in 27 points. They were also called for 28 fouls as defending without a foul continues to be a problem.
A win is a win. Even the Warriors’ twelfth win of the season has a somewhat bitter aftertaste.
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