NBA Gameday: Bulls rule out Jimmy Butler against Warriors

NBA Gameday: Bulls rule out Jimmy Butler against Warriors

OAKLAND -- Three days after seeing one cherished streak come to an end, the Warriors on Wednesday night will be out to extend another.

Their streak of games without consecutive regular season losses sits at 137, an ongoing record, and they’d like to push it 138 when they face the Chicago Bulls at Oracle Arena.

Though the Warriors (43-8) own the best record in the NBA, they’re coming off an overtime loss at Sacramento on Saturday that snapped at 13 their consecutive win streak over the Kings.

The Bulls (26-26), who made a splash in the offseason by signing veteran guard and Chicago native Dwyane Wade, won at Sacramento on Monday. They have scored at least 112 points in each of the past four games, their longest such streak since January 1996.


Warriors by 17


Klay Thompson vs. Dwayne Wade: With Jimmy Butler out, Chicago’s best chances lie mostly with Wade, whose own status was put in jeopardy with an illness. Wade is a step slower than in his prime but still has the ability to turn on the jets when needed. If Wade can’t go, look for Thompson to be defended by Michael Carter-Williams. That, too, is an intriguing matchup.


Warriors: C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Bulls: G Dywane Wade (upper respiratory illness) and F Cristiano Felicio (R calf strain) are listed as questionable. G/F Jimmy Butler (R heel contusion) is listed as out.


Warriors: 8-2. Bulls: 6-4.


This is the first meeting this season. The Warriors swept the two-game season series last season and have won four of the last six meetings. They have won 13 of the last 17 at home.


WATCH THE TRIPLES: Though Chicago’s field-goal percentage defense is not particularly impressive, 3-pointers are hard to come by. They allow an average of 8.9 triples, ranking fifth in the league. Threes are, of course, the backbone of the Warriors offense.

PROTECT THE PAINT: The Bulls are the NBA’s worst 3-point shooting team and they know it, taking the fewest attempts. They rely mostly on midrange jumpers and getting into the paint, slashing to the hoop or for the occasional drive-and-kick. Defend the paint, and Chicago usually has a tough time scoring.

THE GLASS WARS: The Bulls lead the league in offensive rebounding (12.9 per game) and as a result rank second in second-chance points (15.5). Teams with this capability have hurt the Warriors, who have gotten better at keeping bangers off the offensive glass. They’ll need to be good in this game.

Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut

OAKLAND -- Like much of the NBA and everyone with an interest in the Warriors, Omri Casspi has watched the emergence of Quinn Cook, who came out of the G-League and is making a strong bid to make the postseason roster.

Casspi, out since spraining his right ankle last Friday against Sacramento, happens to be at or near the top of the list of the tiny group of players that might be dropped should the Warriors decide to add Cook.

The 6-foot-9 veteran forward has heard the chatter.

“First of all, it’s you guys talking,” Casspi said, referring to media. “I don’t really feel it from the organization. At the end of the day, I’m focused on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control.

“I feel like the team needs me and know what I can do for the team. My focus is on getting healthy and playing.”

The Warriors have until April 11 to submit their playoff roster.

Casspi’s roster spot is in danger for three reasons.

One, he has lost confidence in his long-distance shooting, which was influential in the team’s decision to sign him to a one-year minimum contract last July.

Two, his defense has been a glaring weakness, with teams attacking him at every opportunity.

Three, he had fallen out of the rotation when the team was fully healthy and didn’t return until after succession of injuries. Casspi exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only one of the 12 games before injuries to several teammates became a factor.

Stephen Curry’s ankle woes this season, along with Cook’s impressive play, are making a persuasive argument for adding the third-year point guard.

For now, Casspi is determined to get back on court after missing the last two games.

“With my role on this team, when I’m healthy I want to go out there and play, maybe not 100 percent healthy, but close to it,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on, on feeling good and running up and down and being able to cut and move and be out there again with the guys.”

As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay


As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all worked up sweat Wednesday, putting the Warriors ever closer to being whole again.

Only Draymond Green did not full participate in the non-contact practice session, but he’s expected back in a matter of days.

So while the Warriors are a little more than a week away from possibly having the full squad available, they’re starting to feel a little less vulnerable.

“They’re all kind of day-to-day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph is closer to playing than KD and Klay.”

Curry has not played since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle. He missed the last six games. Durant (rib cartilage injury) and Thompson (right thumb sprain) sustained their injuries on March 11 at Minnesota, though Durant played one more game, March 14, before receiving a diagnosis. Durant missed the last three games, Thompson the last four.

Green sustained a pelvic contusion Monday night at San Antonio, but believes he will be available this weekend, either Friday against Atlanta or Sunday against Utah.

Curry, though, is fully cleared for all activities.

“Steph looks great,” Kerr said. “He’s chomping at the bit. But we’ll see how he responds in the next couple days before we decide whether he plays or not.”

Durant loathes acknowledging pain or injuries, and his return will be dictated by his ability with withstanding the contact inevitable in the course of a game.

“I don’t expect KD to play this week,” Kerr said. “It’s not like a timetable . . . just sort of a feel thing. It’s symptomatic with him.”

Thompson seems, at this point, the furthest away from full activity.

“Klay did some stuff," Kerr said, “but not full participation.”