OAKLAND — Even before the 28-footer had crashed through the net, Stephen Curry swung his right leg high into the air and began strutting toward center court.
On a night when Curry rained down 33 points in 27 minutes, the triple from the top of the key capped an 8-0 run for the two-time MVP and highlighted his 26-point second quarter.
The 3-point high stepping? Just an effort to make sure the shot went down.
“That was body english to try to get it in,” Curry said. “I think I turned around and kind of gave it a little leg kick, trying to will it in because I thought it was short.”
With Kevin Durant (left ankle sprain) and Draymond Green (rest) out of the lineup, the Golden State Warriors barreled past the Chicago Bulls, 143-94, on Friday night at Oracle Arena.
While Curry scored a game-high 33 and recorded seven rebounds and four assists, backcourt Thompson went for 29. Thompson connected on 12-of-17 shots from the field and was 5-for-9 from beyond the arc.
The Warriors had coasted into the break commanding a 74-53 thanks to Curry’s electric second-quarter outburst.
Curry was 7-for-10 from the field, splashing three triples and finishing the quarter +26.
The team’s 74-point outburst in the opening half tied the club’s best output in any half this season, while the 45-point second quarter marked the highest total for that stanza all year.
With Green’s absence allowing Jordan Bell a path back to the court after he’d been left on the inactive list in four of the last five games, the rookie didn’t waste his opening.
Playing a career-high 26 minutes, Bell had seven points, six boards, six blocks and one thunderous dunk in the opening quarter. Bell caught the lob in transition from Zaza Pachulia before hammering down the one-hand dunk.
Curry spoke highly of the rookie’s defensive impact.
“That’s his bread and butter,” Curry said. “He loves to have that opportunity to impact the game — blocking shots, switching onto whoever he needs to to take on that one-on-one challenge and using his athleticism and his high basketball IQ.”
Bell conceded that it was extra sweet to deliver that performance against the Bulls, the club that had drafted him — after brushing aside that suggestion following shoot around.
“Yeah. I ain’t gonna lie,” Bell said. “It was.”
Bell, who the Warriors acquired for $3.5 million, also explained why he flashed a money sign and shouted “3.5” early in the first quarter.
“Yeah, I just wanted to see how cash considerations was playing over there.”
Shaun Livingston, enjoyed a pseudo night off, produced a fascinating stat line in his eight minutes of first-quarter work. Livingston was +16, while handing out a pair of assists and scoring zero points.