NBA

'We felt we had to win' – Thompson leads Warriors comeback to beat Bulls

By Sports Desk January 13, 2024

Klay Thompson felt the Golden State Warriors "had to win" as they produced an impressive second-half comeback to defeat the Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors rallied for a 140-131 win at United Center, erasing a 13-point halftime deficit with a strong turnaround.

Thompson scored 30 points and there were 27 from Stephen Curry, although 15 of those points came in the fourth quarter as he overcame a slow start.

Golden State improved to 18-20 after Thompson drained seven 3-pointers, with Curry hitting six from deep.

The Warriors dominated the third quarter 48-20 and led by 15 entering the fourth after Chicago had raced ahead in the first half, when they scored a season-high 72 points.

It was a key win with further road games against the Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz up next for the Warriors.

"This was a game we felt we had to win, especially with the upcoming road trip," Thompson said, per NBC Sports Bay Area.

"When our spirit is right, things tend to go our way. Those last two games, we just felt like they were anomalies of the season.

"We have been fighting so hard, with so many close battles lost. We were not discouraged. We know that it is a long season with ebbs and flows.

"Even though we got beat probably a combined 100 [points], we responded."

Curry finished just 8 of 24 from the field, but did have nine assists, while Jonathan Kuminga added 24 points from the bench as Golden State won despite being without Moses Moody, Chris Paul, Gary Payton II and Draymond Green.

Green is working on his conditioning after his recent suspension.

"I can't wait until Draymond is back," added Thompson. "We are not the Warriors without him.

"Hopefully within these next couple of games, maybe Memphis or Utah would be great. I think he makes the biggest impact defensively."

The Bulls fell to 18-22 despite a game-high 39 points from DeMar DeRozan, while Zach LaVine and Coby White scored 25 points each.

"They did a great job adjusting, coming out and changing up the game plan," DeRozan said about Warriors' turnaround. 

"You can never count them out no matter how big of a lead we have."

The Warriors are 12th in the Western Conference as they fight to reach the playoff positions in the standings.

"It is nice to win a game like that where I know individually I can shoot the ball better but we won a game collectively," Curry said. 

"We have a standard that we want to live up to for ourselves. 

"We are not going to win every game, but you just want to play better and I think we did that."

Coach Steve Kerr was impressed with the response after the Warriors were booed in the big home losses against the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans this week.

He said: "The whole group, the whole team, was just committed to 'Let's go out and win'.

"I'm very proud of them. They have taken a lot of heat; we have all taken a lot of heat this past week. Deservedly so. But this is what you do as a pro. A lot of these guys are champions. You have got to respond, and they did.

"We got off track emotionally and spiritually the last couple of games. Our fans could feel it. We got booed for the first time since I've been here, 10 years. 

"And, as I said, both nights we deserved it because our energy and our competitive spirit were not there. We found that again."

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