NBA: Slow-starting Warriors catch fire to storm past Bulls

Stephen Curry (left) of the Golden State Warriors knocks the ball away from Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Jan 20, 2016.
Stephen Curry (left) of the Golden State Warriors knocks the ball away from Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Jan 20, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - The Golden State Warriors took a few minutes to warm up but they eventually caught fire and rolled to a 125-94 thumping of the Chicago Bulls at the United Centre on Wednesday.

Stephen Curry had 25 points, Klay Thompson 20 and Harrison Barnes finished with 19 to lead the Warriors (39-4), who also got double-digit bench scoring from Andre Iguodala (10 points), Leandro Barbosa (12) and Shaun Livingston (12).

Derrick Rose led all scorers with 29 points and Jimmy Butler added 23 points for the Bulls (24-17), who were swept by Golden State in the two-game season series.

Chicago got double-digit scoring off the bench from rookie forward Bobby Portis (16 points) and guard E'Twaun Moore (13).

The Warriors trailed through the game's first four minutes, but unfurled an 11-4 run to seize the lead and never trailed again.

Rose hit five of his first six shots and scored 10 of the Bulls' first 12 points to start the game.

Golden State, however, took advantage of Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg's decision to sit Rose with 6min 12sec left in the first.

Without Rose on the floor, the Warriors out-scored the Bulls 21-6 the rest of the quarter to lead 34-18 starting the second. Curry, who played all 12 minutes in the first, led the way with 10 points and six assists.

Golden State, which got points from all 13 players who dressed, continued their dominance in the second.

The Warriors used their advantage in scoring depth to push the lead to 63-44 at half-time, despite Rose running his points tally to 21 on 10-of-15 shooting.

Rose's big night was not nearly enough, however, and Butler found his range too late.

Butler scored 10 points in a 12-4 run to start the third, pulling Chicago within 67-56 with 6:13 left in the quarter but the Warriors responded with five straight points to spark a 17-5 run.

Barnes and Curry hit back-to-back three-pointers in the surge, and the latter put an exclamation point on the quarter with a dunk to complete the scoring.