Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 146-109 win over Bulls

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 146-109 win over Bulls

OAKLAND -- Not a bad way to start the second half of the regular season. Not bad at all.

The Warriors cruised to their second consecutive blowout victory Friday night at Oracle Arena, and this time, it came at the expense of the Chicago Bulls.

Golden State (28-14) made quick work of the Bulls on their way to a 146-109 home win, with Klay Thompson creating an early advantage that Chicago (10-32) never recovered from.

Here are three takeaways from a game that was over almost as soon as it started:

KLAY'S BULLS-EYE

Those poor Bulls. What did they ever do to Klay Thompson?

In the Warriors' only other meeting with the Bulls this season back on Oct. 29, Thompson drained an NBA-record 14 3-pointers in a runaway victory.

On Friday night, he picked up right where he left off.

Thompson was on fire from the opening tip, knocking down not one, not two, but three 3-pointers (on three attempts) within the opening 70 seconds. That individual surge got the crowd on its feet, and the Warriors rolling.

For comparison, Chicago didn't score their 10th point until there was 3:24 remaining in the first quarter.

Thompson would add another three 3-pointers in the second quarter, and finished the game with a team-high 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc.

In six quarters against the Bulls this season -- he sat out the entire fourth quarter of both games -- Thompson accounted for 82 points on 28-of-47 shooting (59.6 percent) from the field and 21-of-35 (60.0 percent) from 3-point range.

THROW THE TOWEL

After Tuesday's win over the Knicks, Thompson had to ask Curry when their last blowout victory was.

He didn't have to ask again on Friday.

The Warriors didn't just lead from start to finish. They took a double-digit lead on Kevin Durant's 3-pointer with 9:41 remaining in the first quarter and maintained it throughout the remainder of the contest.

After scoring 44 points in the first quarter of their blowout win over the Bulls on Oct. 29, Golden State held a 43-17 advantage at the end of the first frame on Friday. It was their eighth 40-point quarter of the season.

The last time the Warriors held a 26-point lead at the end of the first quarter? You have to go all the way back to Nov. 2, 1991, when they led 48-18 against Sacramento.

There are eight players on Golden State's current roster that weren't born by then.

The Warriors' season-long point differential is well behind what it's been at this stage in each of the last four seasons, but with performances like Friday's, they'll make up ground quickly.

More importantly, more blowout victories means more rest for Thompson, Curry, Durant, and Draymond Green. The Warriors are halfway to the postseason, and the fresher they can keep those four core players, the better off they'll be when the playoffs arrive.

BULL CRAP

The Warriors are great and all, but man, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more overmatched roster than that of Chicago's on Friday night. At no point in the game did the Bulls threaten to take a lead, and they've now allowed the Warriors to score 295 combined points against them in just two matchups this season.

That's the kind of defense that will drive your replacement coach to make you run liners before, during and after practice.

The Bulls have had the aforementioned coaching change, and now sit at 10-32, losers of six-straight. Good thing this is supposed to be a stacked draft class.

For all the turbulence the Warriors have experienced so far this season, it clearly could be so much worse. Just another reminder to appreciate the dynasty in front of you.

Warriors' Quinn Cook explains why he never doubted his NBA potential

Warriors' Quinn Cook explains why he never doubted his NBA potential

Quinn Cook's path to the NBA was not direct, but the Warriors guard said he never stopped believing in himself. 

The Duke product went undrafted after winning a National Championship with the Blue Devils in 2015. He was a part of four different NBA organizations (Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks) before signing a two-way contract with the Warriors in 2017.

But Cook said he got by with a little help from his friends. College teammate Austin Rivers watched him in the G League, and so did LeBron James after a training camp together in Cleveland. 

"That doesn't happen, and those guys kept my confidence [up]," Cook told Rivers and Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' Podcast. "I knew the work I put in. And growing up, I always had confidence in myself. I was a McDonald's All-American. I was All-American in college. I just had to take a different route, and I appreciated it."

Cook caught his big break with the Warriors last season. He played his way into coach Steve Kerr's rotation, and eventually a roster spot once Steph Curry was sidelined down the stretch with an injury. 

In his fourth NBA season, Cook averaged career-highs of 9.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. He hit the 20-point mark five times, and started 15 of the Warriors' final 16 regular-season games. 

Cook returned to the bench at the start of the playoffs, but still played 10 minutes a night for the eventual NBA champions. He made it, almost overnight, but said he was able to keep things in perspective. 

"[When] Steph went down and I started to score [a lot], I didn't act like this was new because I had been doing it my whole life," Cook continued. "That was just a great opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of, and everything happened for a reason. [Four] teams passed on me, but I got on the right team and I just want to keep building."

[RELATED: Austin Rivers explains how Steph transformed basketball]

Curry has played in 60 of the Warriors' 71 games this season, so Cook has only started eight times. His minutes and production are down, too, but Cook is scoring (16.3 points) and rebounding (5.6 rebounds) at the highest per-36 minute rates of his career. 

Not that he's surprised. 

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.