SAN FRANCISCO – For six weeks and three days, every Warrior on the roster has the same request: Steve Kerr and Draymond Green: We have to improve our defense.
The message reached all the ears it needed for at least 12 minutes Friday night.
This season, after ambling through so many other typical first seasons, allow sub-mediocre Chicago Bulls shooting 62.5 percent from the field and scoring 33 points, Warriors They called upon an ally that had served them admirably during the years they devoured the NBA.
They emerged in the second quarter, defending with conviction and purpose and a discipline rarely seen in the first 22 games.
The Bulls scored 19 points on 34.6 percent shooting in the second quarter, and the Warriors brought plenty of energy. won 119-111 in front of a crowd (18,064) at Chase Center.
“We hit a lot of shots tonight, made 20 3s, but it didn’t feel like a fluid game that we were clicking,” Kerr said. “Get the win, but we have to get better.”
Golden State has done itself a lot of damage. Made silly mistakes, made reckless and ill-timed shots, shot 65 percent from the line and had 27 points and 20 steals in Chicago. That cut the Bulls’ 19-point lead to one with 2:27 to play.
“It was a little bit of a pickup game at times,” Kerr said. “We have to get better. We just need to connect the game for 48 minutes. Sometimes it felt crazy.”
But those valiant attempts to burn themselves out fell short as the Warriors managed to turn the game in their favor with an 11-point halftime lead in that impressive second quarter.
One big difference was that, while the defense was tighter overall, it was very important not to make mistakes. Chicago made 12 free throws as Golden State committed nine fouls in the first quarter.
The Warriors were whistled for two fouls in the second quarter, holding the Bulls to just two free throws, both by their backup centers. Andre Drummonda badass shooter that comes up empty.
“That was the biggest thing; We didn’t run the offense,” Kerr said. “Any time we can defend without making a mistake, we can get stops. We can recover pretty well and then the game can pick up and get into our flow. That was the key to the second quarter.”
Warriors Can’t Maintain Defensive Intensity – The Bulls outshot the Warriors 47.1 percent to 42.2 in the second half, but it didn’t cost them much on the night.
Draymond, who grabbed a three-pointer with 2:01 left to put the Warriors up 113-109, often talked about defense as a matter of “building good habits” during the regular season. For 12 minutes they did it.
Golden State’s 2nd quarter was really stout defensively, making up for seven offensive turnovers in 12 minutes.
A quarterback doesn’t do it most nights, but it was enough to get the Warriors almost back in the game.