Jimmy Butler
Bulls-Warriors Preview
Jimmy Butler

Bulls-Warriors Preview

Published Nov. 20, 2015 2:52 a.m. ET

The Golden State Warriors appeared on their way to extending their 19-game home winning streak when the Chicago Bulls visited Oracle Arena in January, holding an 11-point lead with less than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

But much like the Warriors fended off a double-digit deficit Thursday night to become the fifth team in league history to start 13-0, the Bulls charged back behind their star guard and pulled out a thrilling overtime victory.

Golden State has won 25 consecutive regular-season home games since that loss, and Chicago still isn't sure if it will have Derrick Rose available when it tries to win again in Oakland on Friday night.

The Warriors trailed by 23 in the first half at Staples Center before outscoring the Los Angeles Clippers by 13 in the fourth quarter and completing the largest comeback in the NBA this season with a 124-117 victory.


Stephen Curry had 40 points and 11 rebounds and is averaging 39.3 points over his last four. Klay Thompson added a season-high 25 points and Harrison Barnes finished with 21 for the Warriors, who became the first team to win its first 13 games since Dallas opened 14-0 in 2002-03.

The best start in league history is 15-0, last accomplished by Houston in 1993-94.

"We're a confident team that no matter how bad we're playing, we always feel like we have a shot," Curry said. "The goal now is to not make it harder on ourselves. We'll clean that up."

Golden State has won its first seven home games and hasn't lost at Oracle Arena since Jan. 27, when Rose scored the final two of his 30 points on a jumper with seven seconds remaining in overtime to give the Bulls (8-3) a 113-11 victory.

Rose, though, is dealing with a sprained left ankle that kept him out of Chicago's 103-97 win at Phoenix on Wednesday that began a four-game road trip. Rose is considered a game-time decision to face the Warriors, but the Bulls know they can count on Jimmy Butler to flourish in an increased role if Rose has to sit out again.

Butler, who didn't play at Golden State last season because of an illness, scored a season-high 32 points against the Suns. He had 14 in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that put the Bulls up seven with just over a minute remaining, and thrived with some pregame encouragement from Rose.

''It helps to have a superstar like him in my corner, coaching me up," Butler said. "Obviously we want him out there on the floor with us.

''My teammates just kept giving me the ball, to tell you the truth, whether I wanted it or not. Telling me to make plays.''

Kirk Hinrich started in place of Rose and scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting while dishing out six assists. Coach Fred Hoiberg was pleased with the effort from Hinrich, who again would start against the Warriors if Rose can't go.

''He does such a great job of getting us into our offense and getting our defense organized,'' Hoiberg said.

E'Twaun Moore also should see more minutes with Aaron Brooks out. Brooks strained his hamstring in the third quarter against Phoenix and is considered day to day.

Whoever is in the lineup should take pointers from how the Bulls have defended Curry in recent years. Curry is averaging 17.4 points while shooting 39.2 percent from the field - 26.7 from 3-point range - over his last five against Chicago.


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