Klay Thompson

What we learned as Wiggs, Klay fuel Warriors' win over Bulls

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Klay Thompson scored 17 of his team-high 30 points during a pivotal third quarter that evoked memories of the Warriors' championship seasons, and they looked like a much different team than they had been earlier in the week as Golden State began their road trip with a 140-131 win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night at United Center.

Thompson’s big night came despite another slow start for the five-time All-Star. He made five of his six attempts and had three assists in the third quarter, as Golden State rebounded from back-to-back beatings by the New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors at Chase Center.

Stephen Curry overcame his own shooting woes and had 27 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Jonathan Kuminga scored 24 points while Andrew Wiggins, back in the starting lineup, chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds.

The Warriors (18-20) trailed by double digits most of the first half when they allowed 75 points to the Bulls (18-22), but turned things around in the third before holding off a late Chicago surge.

In a major change from the homestand, the Warriors came out and played hard and were energetic out of the gate, especially on the defensive side. They had three steals while the Bulls committed five turnovers in the first 12 minutes when the Warriors built a 33-30 lead.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a member of Chicago’s 1995-96 NBA championship team, was inducted into the Bulls' inaugural Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony. He took a break from usual halftime routine to take part in the event.

Here are the takeaways from the Warriors' win:

Wiggins starts, provides energy

Kerr trotted out yet another new starting five, adding Wiggins and Dario Saric to the group with Curry, Thompson, Kevon Looney.

The switch in lineups resulted in an obvious change in energy and production that was vastly different from the homestand.

Wiggins and Saric combined for 18 of the Warriors’ first 23 points. Wiggins hit his first shot, a 3-pointer, than later added an emphatic two-handed dunk.

Saric nailed his first three shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. Wiggins shot 8 of 13 while Daric put up 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Third-quarter blitz

One of the Warriors’ trademarks during their championship days was their ability to dominate teams in the third quarter. Those good times after halftime have been few and far between this season, but they brought back some of those old memories with a magnificent third quarter in Chicago.

Led by 17 points from Thompson, the Warriors held a 48-20 scoring advantage in the period and turned a 75-62 deficit into a 110-95 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The 48 points are a season-high for Golden State in any quarter.

The Warriors did a great job on both ends of the floor, forcing four turnovers while limiting the Bulls to 7 of 21 shooting. That helped sway the momentum back in Golden State’s favor and they were able to ride it to the finish.

Klay salvages unsteady backcourt

During a night when the Warriors got very little successful shooting and scoring from their backcourt, Thompson overcame his own rough night and finished as one of Golden State’s better players.

Thompson missed six of his first eight shots, including an air-ball from 3-point range that didn’t even reach the net, before he found his rhythm. The veteran wing, who hit a pair of 3s coming out of halftime, made seven of his last seven shots.

Curry made up for his own slow start and connected on several key shots down the stretch to help seal the win.

Brandin Podziemski was held to five points on 2-of-8 shooting. Cory Joseph scored two points.

This is a game where the loss of injured Moses Moody definitely was felt.

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