Bulls rout Warriors behind Kirk Hinrich’s 25 points
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org January 25, 2013 11:17PM
Chicago Bulls Vs Golden State Warriors. Chicago Bulls No.12 Kirk Hinrich with 25 points tonight against the Golden State Warriors 103-87. January 25, 2013 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: February 27, 2013 6:20AM
The Bulls had about 12 hours to celebrate Joakim Noah and Luol Deng being named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as reserves — probably 10 more hours than coach Tom Thibodeau was comfortable in allowing.
By Friday morning, they were back to work, and by Friday night they were back to the practice of taking good offensive teams and making them look pedestrian.
Thanks to a 31-13 first quarter, the Bulls claimed a dominating 103-87 win over the Golden State Warriors, who were coming off three straight wins, including back-to-back victories over the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
While Noah definitely played like an All-Star, it was one of those games where it was tough to differentiate between All-Star and reserve. Noah finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds, but Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high 25, Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler each posted double-doubles, and Nate Robinson came off the bench to put in 22 as the Bulls improved to 26-16.
‘‘As I told them [Friday morning], first of all I think it’s a great honor for both Jo and Lu,’’ Thibodeau said of the All-Star announcements that were made Thursday night. ‘‘I also feel that Carlos is having an All-Star year and he’s an All-Star — he’s just not playing in that game — so all three I thought were deserving. But I’m thrilled for Lu and Jo. I also think it’s an honor for our team and our organization and all their teammates. When you win, people recognize that. I think there’s value in that.’’
Thibodeau warned the team before the game Friday that there could be no All-Star hangover and that readiness to play was key.
Message heard. The Bulls raced out to the quick start and extended their lead to 26, and when the Warriors made a mini-run in the second quarter, they weathered it and regained control in the second half.
‘‘We take pride in being ready to play,’’ Hinrich said. ‘‘Don’t get me wrong, we’re thrilled to be on a team that has two All-Stars. But there is also a feeling of pride for us because it’s almost a team award.
‘‘We definitely have had an edge lately.’’
It was the first time this season that the starting front line put up double-doubles in the same game. Boozer scored 15 points and had 13 rebounds, and Butler, starting for the injured Deng, had 16 and 12.
‘‘That was big for us,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘It opened up a lot of things.’’
Hinrich and Robinson combined for eight three-pointers, with Hinrich going 6-for-7.
‘‘There are going to be a lot more battles, a lot more adversity, but we’re excited,’’ Noah said. ‘‘We’re playing good basketball, and if we keep our eye on improving, the sky is the limit.’’