OAKLAND, Calif. -- Surrounded by such a staggering collection of firepower in Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Stephen Curry's otherworldly gifts and remarkable résumé can sometimes go overlooked, even if just for a moment.
But just as quickly, the Golden State Warriors' dynamo can go on one of his patented scoring flurries, packed with moonbeam 3-pointers and eye-popping highlights, and remind everyone why he has twice won NBA MVP honors and lifted his franchise to two titles in three years.
On Friday, with Durant (sprained ankle) and Green (rest) both sidelined, Curry dominated the stage, lighting up the struggling, road-weary Chicago Bulls for 33 points -- including 26 in the second quarter alone -- en route to a 143-94 win, helping the Warriors bounce back from a double-digit defeat in Oklahoma City with a season-high point total.
When asked to pinpoint the moment he knew a game-changing run was afoot, Curry cited a 3-pointer early in the second quarter, right before a timeout -- that's when he started to feel his rhythm.
"Your shot feels good, and you're getting some open ones -- that's when the avalanche starts," Curry said.
Curry quickly buried the Bulls, shooting 10-of-18 from the floor, including 4-of-11 from 3-point range, in just under 27 minutes; he didn't play in the fourth quarter. Curry started slow, with just five points in the first quarter, but he caught fire in the second, when he outscored the Bulls by himself 26-21 while stretching the Warriors' lead to 23.
Curry's 26-point second quarter fell just two points shy of a career-high scoring total for a quarter. (He has twice notched 28 in a single frame.) His 31-point first half marked a season high for any Warriors player in a single half this season.
The Warriors, meanwhile, tallied their seventh 40-point win over the past four seasons. In that span, no team has more than two such wins. The Bulls' 49-point loss is their worst loss ever to the Warriors and their third-worst loss in franchise history.
Not to be outdone, Thompson, the other half of the Splash Brothers duo, chipped in with 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field, and the Warriors led by as much as 49 as the Bulls dropped to 3-14 and 0-4 on their Western Conference trip. Thompson made 5 of 9 3-pointers and added four rebounds, a steal and a block.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised the patience of Curry and Thompson to choose great looks rather than just good looks, as compared to recent games. Curry agreed and said he and his teammates were "kind of back to who we are" by moving the ball and setting solid screens for each other.
This matchup had been billed as a revenge game for Jordan Bell, as the Warriors rookie power forward made his first career start against the team that drafted him with the 38th overall pick before trading his draft rights to the Warriors for $3.5 million in cash. Bell scored the game's first bucket, finished a lob from Zaza Pachulia and showed a lot of his usual energy after being inactive in four of his past five games. Bell finished with seven points, six rebounds and six blocks in 26:24 of action.
The Warriors entered the night ranked 28th in the NBA in turnovers, at 17.1 per game. They got off to a poor start in that area, with plenty of sloppy ballhandling before Curry started scorching the nets. The Bulls led 32-29 after the first quarter. But the Warriors had 36 assists to only 11 turnovers overall, while the Bulls had only 18 assists and 15 turnovers.
Forward Omri Casspi also started for the Warriors, finishing with six points, four assists and two steals. Nick Young was the seventh player off of Golden State's bench on Friday night, but he came through with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.