Warriors beat Bulls for 12th straight win
CHICAGO (AP) Steve Kerr called himself the luckiest coach in the NBA.
In his first coaching job, his Golden State Warriors have set a franchise record with their 12th straight victory and improved to a league-best 10-1 on the road.
''They're easy to coach. They're really talented. They're unselfish,'' Kerr said. ''I'm just lucky.''
Draymond Green scored a career-high 31 points and the Warriors beat the Chicago Bulls 112-102 on Saturday night. Klay Thompson added 24 points for the Warriors, who extended their league-best record to 17-2.
Jimmy Butler led the Bulls (12-8) with 24 points. Pau Gasol added 22 points and 20 rebounds.
The Warriors previously won a franchise-record 11 straight games from Dec. 29, 1971-Jan. 22, 1972.
''You're talking about a franchise that was historically known for losing,'' Green said. ''A new ownership group came in, and it completely changes the entire organization. It's a great feeling. We feel like we have a lot left in the tank.''
The Bulls fell to just 2-5 at home.
The Warriors had lost five straight and 11 of 12 and were 6-28 over 35 years in Chicago.
''It's been miserable,'' said Stephen Curry, who earned his first victory at the United Center. ''We've not only lost, but we've gotten beaten pretty bad here.''
Thompson and Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors a 95-87 lead with 6:25 remaining. Green made another 3 and hit a jumper to extend the lead to 103-90 with 3:11 left.
Gasol tipped in a basket to cut the lead to 107-100 with 31.5 seconds left, but Curry went 5 of 6 at the free throw line in the final seconds.
Green shot 7 for 13 from 3-point range.
''We made a conscious effort of getting Curry out of the game, but we left Green open a lot of the time,'' Gasol said. ''He got going and he shot 13 3s - which is a lot of 3s - and most of them were uncontested.''
Green's previous career high was 24 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 5. He entered Saturday averaging 12.5 points.
''He's given us a new dimension with his 3-point shooting,'' Kerr said.
Curry had 19 points to give him double-figure scoring in 18 of 19 games. Harrison Barnes and Marreese Speights added 11 points apiece for the Warriors, who shot 12 of 30 from 3-point range and had 28 fast-break points to the Bulls' 13.
Joakim Noah scored 16 points and Taj Gibson, back after missing six games with an ankle injury, added 12 for the Bulls, who committed 22 turnovers. Gasol recorded his sixth straight double-double.
''They're defending better,'' Gasol said about the Warriors. ''They understand that it's a key piece of being a great team.''
Warriors: F David Lee (hamstring) has missed all but one game yet is expected to return to action next week. .Kerr was the second coach in NBA history to begin his career with a 16-2 record or better. The Syracuse Nationals' Al Cervi went 18-2 before losing in 1949.
Bulls: F Doug McDermott (knee) has missed three straight games. Coach Tom Thibodeau said McDermott's knee flared up during Saturday's shootaround.
MAKING A STATEMENT
During warmups, Bulls guard Derrick Rose wore a black ''I Can't Breathe'' T-shirt, referring to a New York man who died July 17 after a police officer placed him in a chokehold when he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. A videotape recording of the arrest showed Eric Garner gasping, ''I can't breathe'' during the fatal encounter. Thousands around the country have protested the grand jury decision to not indict the officer.
Rose did not speak to reporters after the game. He finished with nine points, six assists and four rebounds.
''I respect Derrick a lot,'' Noah said. ''He definitely is making a statement by wearing it. That's my guy.''
Kerr, who won three NBA titles as a Bulls player, enjoyed his return to Chicago. He chatted with former teammate Scottie Pippen.
''Really fun to come in and get a win,'' Kerr said.
Warriors: Visit Minnesota on Monday.
Bulls: Host Brooklyn on Wednesday.