Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson got hot in a win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday, but it was nothing compared to the flames coming off the All-Star the last time he faced the Chicago Bulls. Thompson will try to post another historic performance when the Warriors host the Bulls on Friday.
Thompson knocked down an NBA-record 14 3-pointers in a 149-124 shellacking of Chicago on Oct. 29, going 14-of-24 from beyond the arc en route to 52 points. Thompson's second-highest scoring output of the season came on Tuesday, when knocked down 18-of-29 from the floor and hit seven 3-pointers in a 43-point performance that didn't surprise coach Steve Kerr, who told reporters: "I absolutely expect him to break through, and tonight was a night where he did so." The Bulls had similar trouble defensively at Portland on Wednesday, when they allowed the Trail Blazers to shoot 56.6 percent from the field in a 124-112 loss - their fifth consecutive setback. "We didn't have the grit when we needed at the defensive end," Chicago coach Jim Boylen told reporters. "We gave up two big offensive rebounds in the third, which I thought turned the game and gave them some light. But I told the team that I'm not discouraged at all."
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State) LINE: Warriors -15.5
ABOUT THE BULLS (10-31): Power forward Lauri Markkanen was held to 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting in 32 minutes on Wednesday while missing all three of his 3-point attempts. "I know I got to get more out of me and get to my spots," Markkanen told reporters. "I don't think I got my good looks. At times, it was (frustrating). We gotta get our offense going and finding the open guy and getting everybody involved. We gotta work on that. But other guys played well." One of the guys who played well was rookie forward Wendell Carter Jr., who scored 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the setback.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (27-14): Golden State reached the NBA Finals in each of the last four seasons - winning three championships - but needed Tuesday's win to snap a three-game home losing streak and is enduring an up-and-down regular season. "Who cares?" Warriors forward Kevin Durant asked reporters. "We know how to play good basketball. We end up winning 54 games or 60 games it doesn't matter. As long as we go into the playoffs in a good rhythm with good habits and healthy it don't matter if we win 55 or 60 games. Regular season is just to build your habits up, not to chase anything as far as a record's concerned. So, we'll just fall into whatever happens and we'll keep plugging away every single day." Golden State is still sitting in second place in the West and averaged 126 points in winning four of the last five games.
1. Warriors PG Stephen Curry handed out a season-high 14 assists in his first double-double of 2018-19 on Tuesday.
2. Bulls PF Bobby Portis is averaging 16 points on 12-of-23 shooting in two games since returning from an ankle injury.
3. The Warriors took the last three in the series, including a 143-94 triumph in the latest matchup in Golden State on Nov. 24, 2017.
PREDICTION: Warriors 125, Bulls 100 Bet Now
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