The Golden State Warriors will play the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App) as they continue to chase the 1995-96 Bulls’ 72-10 regular-season record. The Warriors are 38-4, whereas the 1995-96 Bulls were 39-3 after 42 games.
Beginning with a loss to the Mavericks on Dec. 30, the Warriors are 9-3 in their last 12 games. Their .750 win percentage is the sixth-best in the NBA during that time period.
In 30 games before that Dec. 30 loss, the Warriors allowed 97.2 points per 100 possessions. In the 12 games since, their defensive efficiency is 103.7.
All four of the Warriors’ losses this season have been on the road. The Warriors score more points per 100 possessions on the road than at home (113.1 to 111.5), but their defense away from Oracle Arena hasn’t been as strong.
Thwarting Warriors’ offensive forces
The Warriors won the first meeting between the teams this season, 106-94, on Nov. 20 in Oakland, California. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, but he missed eight of 11 3-point shots. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 28 points.
The Bulls have held Curry to 6-of-25 shooting from 3-point range in the past two seasons. In his career, Curry has shot 34 percent from 3-point range against the Bulls, his second-worst mark against any team (against the Hawks, he shoots 29 percent on 3-pointers).
Curry comes into Chicago on a hot stretch. In his past six games, he is averaging 34.3 points per game. He has made 39 3-point field goals over the six games (making at least seven 3-pointers in four of the six games) on 48.8 percent 3-point shooting.
Klay Thompson has averaged 14.9 points per game in his career against the Bulls, his fourth-lowest average against any team (76ers 12.9, Hawks 13.0 and Magic 14.0 points per game).
Bulls’ Butler strong against Warriors
Butler has averaged 26.0 points in his past two games against the Warriors. For his career, he has averaged 17.8 points per game against them, his highest average against any team.
Beginning with games on Dec. 30, only Curry (28.4) and DeMarcus Cousins (30.0) have averaged more points per game than Butler, who has averaged 26.6 points in his past 11 games.
Butler’s contributions have helped the Bulls continue their improvement in offensive efficiency. The Bulls were in the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency through the first three months of the season.
Butler has had “first since Jordan” moments this season:
• 53 points against 76ers, most by any Bulls player since Michael Jordan
• 40 points in the second half against the Raptors, breaking Jordan’s franchise record for points in a half
• Averaging 22 points and five rebounds, something no Bulls player has done since Jordan in 1997-98.
Did you know?
Joakim Noah has missed 11 games this season. The Bulls are 15-14 with him and 9-2 without him.