SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry made a triumphant return from a five-game absence with a bruised tailbone to score 32 points with six 3-pointers, and the Golden State Warriors snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Bulls 116-102 on Monday night.
He did his best to block out the discomfort.
“It wasn’t fun but got through it,” Curry said. “I was able to keep warm and deal with the pain and just play. It will be something to manage in the near future but it will continue to heal as I get some more time.”
Draymond Green contributed 11 points, nine assists and five rebounds as all five Golden State starters scored in double digits to keep the team from a season-worst fifth straight defeat. Rookie James Wiseman had four blocks.
Nikola Vucevic had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists in his second game with Chicago since being traded from the Magic. But the Bulls lost their fourth straight and sixth in seven.
“The turnovers continue to be an issue for us,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said of the 19 miscues. “It’s hard to be as good as you can be when you do that on a consistent basis.”
A heat wrap on his backside during extended breaks, Curry shot 11 for 24 in his 18th 30-point performance of the season. The two-time MVP hurt the tailbone March 17 at Houston.
He made three quick 3-pointers and had 13 points in the opening quarter. Curry landed hard on his backside late in the first and spent the second quarter again with a wrap.
“He’s the heart and soul of everything we do,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The last few games it’s been tough without that dynamic.”
Green, among about a dozen players and coaches who received the one dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine last Wednesday, played his second game since missing last Thursday at Sacramento not feeling well.
Green didn’t attempt a shot in Friday’s loss to Atlanta. He made up for it — even hitting from Steph-like distance near halfcourt late in the second. Klay Thompson loved it and celebrated near the bench.
“Call him logo Green,” Curry quipped, “he might have a new nickname.”
Kerr has been impressed from afar watching Donovan’s progress in his first season coaching Chicago.
“It just feels like they’re building something real and sustainable,” Kerr said of Donovan’s influence on his old Bulls team.
That meant a lot to Donovan.
“Steve and I have built a pretty good relationship over the years, back before he got into coaching and even before his different stints in the front offices,” Donovan recalled. “He was doing a lot of college basketball, so he covered us quite a bit in the NCAA Tournament. So I was able to spend quite a bit of time with him and talk to him and he was always really gracious with his time.”
Yes, it really hurt to land hard on his tailbone.
Yes, Curry has run out of jokes about his backside.
Yes, he had plenty of advice on what donut-shaped pillow to use under his seat.
When it came to his rehab, “it’s not much when you’re dealing with bone like that.”
“It’s a lot of ice, a lot of finding the most comfortable chairs and sofas in the house and just letting the body do its thing no matter how long that takes,” Curry said, “and having some fun with it. I think I’ve run out of tailbone and (butt) jokes. It’s kind of just one of those situations kind of uncomfortable all the way around.”
Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke joined Kate Scott and Mary Murphy to lead the Warriors’ first all-women radio broadcast. It featured six women in all.
Curry was thrilled, telling Burke earlier in the day: “Awesome, awesome, awesome! Hopefully I’m playing and I don’t get to hear you guys but good luck, congratulations.”
Burke credited Scott.
“Kate Scott is the trailblazer,” Burke said. “I’m happy I get to be along for the ride and support my friends.”
Bulls: G Coby White tried to warm up but wound up missing the game with neck pain. “He’s got some muscle spasms in his neck right now that have kind of created a situation where he’s just not able to raise his arm up real well and kind of turn his neck,” Donovan said. … The Bulls haven’t won on Golden State’s home floor in eight tries since a 113-111 overtime victory on Jan. 27, 2015.
Warriors: F Eric Paschall sat out with soreness in his left wrist. … The Warriors won their eighth straight in the series overall. … Golden State snapped a three-game home losing streak.
Bulls: At Phoenix on Wednesday.
Warriors: Start a three-game East Coast road trip by visiting the Heat on Thursday.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports