The Bulls’ won-loss record breaks down into neat categories.
Against the top six teams in the East, the Bulls are 3-13. Against the bottom nine teams in the East, they’re undefeated at 12-0. Against the West, they are 2-14.
Bulls game day
Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors at the United Center, 7 p.m. Wednesday
Radio: WLS 890-AM
Outlook: The Warriors (36-9) have won 13 straight on the road, including the three stops on their Eastern swing (Milwaukee, Toronto and Cleveland). Golden State’s franchise record is 14 straight road wins, set two years ago. All the main guys played Monday against the Cavs. Steph Curry is the team’s leading scorer at 27.6 ppg, followed by Kevin Durant with 26.4 and Klay Thompson at 20.5. The Warriors started rookie Jordan Bell instead of Zaza Pachulia to match the Cavs’ smaller lineup. Golden State leads the league in points per game (115.9), field-goal percentage (.509), 3-point percentage (.388) and rank second in defensive field-goal percentage (.437). The Bulls were crushed 143-94 in Oakland on Nov. 24, but beat the Warriors at the United Center last season.
Next: Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, 7 p.m. Saturday
— Mike McGraw
So despite the dramatic turnaround, the Bulls are still looking for a signature win as Golden State arrive in town for Wednesday’s game.
Monday’s win over Miami was one of the three against a top team in the East. The Heat was playing the second leg of back-to-back games. The Bulls also beat Boston without Kyrie Irving, and Indiana without Victor Oladipo. The two wins in the West were Utah at home and Dallas on the road.
“We’re very confident,” Zach LaVine said of facing the Warriors. “We think we can play with anybody and beat anybody on any given day.
“They got us last time. They beat us by 40 (actually 49 on Nov. 24 at Oracle Arena). We’re playing good. They’re playing really good. They’ve won 13 in a row on the road. We’re going to try to bring that to a halt.”
LaVine set for third game:
The first two games back from knee surgery have gone well for Zach LaVine. He has scored 32 points in 39 minutes and shot 57 percent from the field.
The same plan will be in place Wednesday against Golden State. LaVine will be limited to 20 minutes and most likely sit out the fourth quarter. The Bulls are expected to raise the minutes limit for the following game on Saturday in Atlanta.
“I expect myself to do good, but I’m happy I’m playing the way I am,” he said. “I want to continue that. I got in a good rhythm early the last couple games and we’re playing the right way, won the last two, so just keep that same trend going.”
Coach Fred Hoiberg was asked if it’s awkward for teammates to start the game with LaVine the focal point of the offense, then he checks out after about four minutes.
“I don’t think so because those guys have been playing without Zach for most of the season,” Hoiberg said. “So we get back into what we’ve done. A lot of that is just flow offense with spacing, and we’re doing a pretty good job of that.”
Too tired for fights:
Both Zach LaVine and Fred Hoiberg said they missed the late Monday zaniness, with reports several Houston Rockets players tried to get into the Los Angeles Clippers locker room to confront a couple of players following their game at the Staples Center, which the Clippers won.
“I went and saw some stuff on Twitter, but after the game I went home, dropped my girlfriend off at the airport, and I was asleep,” LaVine said. “I was so tired.”
What did he make of the stories? According to reports, Chris Paul, James Harden, Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green tried to get to the Clippers locker room using a back hallway.
“I’ve heard meet in the back and stuff like that, like in the old days, but I haven’t heard no secret tunnels,” LaVine said. “I know CP knows all about the Staple Center, so he took them through all the back ways.”