OAKLAND — Winning a game at Oracle Arena is almost an impossible task under normal circumstances for even the best of teams.
Subtract Jimmy Butler.
Subtract Dwyane Wade.
So when the odds are recalibrated, giving a roster that's the equivalent of the land of misfit toys a chance to win — meaning it would take something miraculous.
It didn't look as bad as the score indicated, but the Bulls never truly felt in it despite the relatively mild 123-92 outcome Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Since the Bulls pulled off an improbable win at Oracle on Jan. 27, 2015, the Warriors have lost just five regular-season games on this floor, and there would be no miracle to be had Wednesday night.
Kevin Durant wasn't a member of the Warriors during the last Bulls win, and he was chief reason there wouldn't be a second one as he slashed through the lane for dunks and popped out for easy triples on his way to 22 points and 10 rebounds in a relatively sweat-free performance.
It was pretty easy for the Warriors because the Bulls had seven first quarter turnovers, helping an already-focused Warriors team ready to atone after a bad outing in Sacramento filled with a little controversy between Draymond Green and Durant.
In other words, just what the Bulls needed — an angry team. After an 11-11 start, the Warriors went on a 13-0 run that put some distance between the two, having the Bulls playing catch-up all night.
"They came out the gate with a big lead," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "It's a team that lost and had some time to recover and regroup, especially when there's controversy that sounds like mostly b.s., it's a tough team to come out and play against."
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Klay Thompson came on after a slow first half to score 26, and Green — the man who'll forever live in Bulls' fans nightmares — scored 16 with seven rebounds and four assists.
"We know they didn't have their whole team, but we still tried to play our game and get better. And keep growing," Durant told CSNChicago.com in the immediate aftermath.
"I think we're moving in the right direction. I've never been 44-8 on a team before."
Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson led the Bulls with 17 and 15 points, respectively, getting inside for some easy baskets against the stingy, aggressive Warriors, but they were the only ones with a flow.
"That's what we wanted to do coming out. I thought we missed them numerous times when they had (defenders) on their back and we ended up turning it over," Hoiberg said. "We gotta do a better job so we can take advantage."
Michael Carter-Williams' recent magic seemed to wear off, and Jerian Grant also struggled as the Bulls were under 40 percent for most of the night.
If there were some foolish observers who dared claim Butler and Wade were holding back the development of the younger players, that blew up in smoke quite quickly as there was little creativity in terms of shot creation unless Rajon Rondo's 12 points and seven assists truly count in that way.
But it was a meritocracy of shots — shots that missed all night as the Bulls never led and shot 42 percent, trailing by double figures nearly from the onset.
It didn't mean Fred Hoiberg didn't try seemingly everything in his limited bag of tricks to keep some form of pace with the team that probably represents everything he would want his team to be, as he played Isaiah Canaan and finally gave Denzel Valentine some run after his stint in the D-League.
And to some degree the Bulls were hanging in there, limiting resident snipers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to just 5-for-14 shooting in the first half.
But when Thompson hit two corner triples to start the third quarter, Hoiberg was forced to call a timeout, the Bulls down 20 before they even blinked — as Thompson's first five made baskets were all 3-pointers.
To that point, the Bulls were 1-for-11 from the long line.
And it didn't get much better. They finished 4-for-24 from 3, with the Warriors hitting 15 triples on their way to an easy win.