Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau promised to drive his team harder to raise the intensity level of his shorthanded team after an embarrassing 42-point loss in Sacramento. And as they often have during his time at the helm, they bounced back, handling the Golden State Warriors 113-95
The Bulls (36-29) hadn’t reached triple digits in scoring since a 30-point win in Charlotte on Feb. 22; a span of 9 games. They shot 51 percent from the field, after not having been above 40 percent since a Mar. 3 loss in Indiana.
Thibodeau’s message to his team was simply ‘try.’
With the odds against them and margin of error even smaller – being without Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose – there remains one thing that has to be accounted for every single night.
"That's the one thing coach said he should never have to coach is effort and we didn’t give a good effort the last game we played,” Robinson said. “Tonight, we decided as a team to play as hard as we can.”
Luol Deng led all starters who finished in double figures with a game-high 23 points. Carlos Boozer added 21 and Nate Robinson chipped in with 20. Joakim Noah finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
"This team has a lot of pride," Thibodeau said. "So we knew we stunk (against Sacramento). Everybody – players, coaches. So we had to correct it. The big thing is putting the work in. The magic is in the work. You put the work in and usually the results are going to be good."
The Bulls got off to a 12-4 start to begin the game and despite the Golden State coming back and holding brief leads in the first half, they saw very little resistance from their opposition.
A 12-2 run to close the first half put them up 10, extended to 20-2 to start the third.
Golden State missed their first 11 three-pointers they attempted, having come into the game leading the league in three-point percentage (.398).
“We came out aggressive on both sides,” Boozer said. “We locked into what we were doing. We executed very well. We did a great job on defense trying to make their best players take tough shots. The great thing about it is we kept it up for virtually the whole game.
“We had a great practice (Thursday). We were very aggressive. We got back to how the Bulls play and we transferred over what we did in practice to shootaround (Friday) morning and this game.”
The Bulls will return home and prepare for the Denver Nuggets on Monday, hoping to avoid a season series sweep.