CHICAGO – Whether it’s a superstar going down or dropping back-to-back games, losses are starting to add up for the Golden State Warriors.
Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and the Chicago Bulls beat Golden State 94-87 on Thursday night in the Warriors’ first game since Kevin Durant injured his left leg.
Golden State was breathing a little easier after learning Durant probably will play again this season. He was hurt two nights earlier in a loss at Washington.
But the NBA-leading Warriors took another hit when their league-record regular-season streak without consecutive losses ended at 146 games.
“It was a hell of a run and we figured it would probably end at some point this year,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Not that surprising that it’s on this trip. Without KD, we’re going through a tough time but we’re going to bounce back.”
Stephen Curry scored 23 points, and Klay Thompson had 13, but the star guards combined to hit just 3 of 22 3-pointers.
The Warriors dropped back-to-back regular-season games for the first time since April 5 and 7, 2015, at San Antonio and New Orleans.
“It was a great run,” Curry said. “For us to play that many games and not get in a situation like we’re in tonight, it’s pretty impressive. It’s remarkable. We’ll just have to try to start a new streak.”
Bobby Portis had 17 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for Chicago. The Bulls outscored Golden State 10-2 over the final three minutes to wipe out a one-point deficit and come away with their fifth win in six games.
Two of those victories were against conference leaders missing superstars. Chicago won at Cleveland with LeBron James staying home because of strep throat on Saturday.
Butler made all 10 free throws and had five rebounds, six assists and four steals. And Portis — in a bigger role after Taj Gibson got traded to Oklahoma City at last week’s deadline — had his first double-double of the season.
“I had to go in there every day with the right mindset, just go in there and work hard (in practice),” Portis said. “That’s one thing that I always had. I never try to get too low or too high. I credit my mom. I talk to her each and every day.”
Durant is scheduled to be examined again in about a month. If the eight-time All-Star is ready to return at that time, there would be about two weeks left in the regular season.
Of course, the Warriors have won big without Durant. They captured the championship two years ago and followed that up with a league-record 73 wins last season.
“We’ll adjust without him,” Thompson said. “We won’t make excuses. We’ll be better when he comes back. We’ve just got to push through. We’ve got enough talent, we’ve got enough depth.”
Suns 120, Hornets 103
In Phoenix, Marquese Chriss scored 17 points and the Suns shot a season-best 59.7 percent from the field in a victory over Charlotte.
T.J. Warren added 16 points and eight rebounds, and Alan Williams had 16 points and 12 rebounds, including a layup with 2:46 to play that made it 114-99.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 26 points.
Blazers 114, Thunder 109
In Portland,Damian Lillard had 33 points, including a key 3-pointer with just under three minutes to go, and the Trail Blazers rallied for a victory over Oklahoma City.
Russell Westbrook scored 45 points on 12-of-36 shooting for the Thunder, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Oklahoma City newcomer Taj Gibson added 15 points, including a high-arching buzzer-beater from 19 meters away to put the Thunder up 60-57 at halftime.