The Golden State Warriors are trying not to believe that Kevin Durant's injury will haunt them, although Thursday night was not a great start. Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, as the Warriors dropped back-to-back games for the first time since April 2015, 94-87, against the Chicago Bulls. That ends their streak of 146 straight games without consecutive losses, as the "Splash Brothers" combined for just 3-of-22 shooting from beyond the arc. Steph Curry finished with 23 points, while Klay Thompson added just 13 points in the loss. Bobby Portis was a welcoming surprise for the Bulls, recording 17 points and 13 rebounds in the win. The Bulls ended the game on a 10-2 run to earn their fifth win in six games. That streak includes victories over both teams in the previous two NBA Finals. They also improved to 19-12 at the United Center, and 31-30 overall.
Blazers Slip Past Thunder Despite Westbrook's 45 Points
Russell Westbrook is currently on a hot streak unlike any other, but it just was not enough on the road Thursday night. Damian Lillard scored 33 points, including a big three-pointer late, helping the Portland Trail Blazers hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 114-109. Westbrook finished the night with 45 points, recording 40 points for a third straight game, which is the second time he's done that this season. Taj Gibson added 15 points in a loss that snapped the Thunder's four-game winning streak. OKC led by as many as eight with 7:48 left, but Portland was able to come back and tie it with under four minutes to play. Jusuf Nurkic, who was recently acquired from the Denver Nuggets, had a big night with 18 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and five blocks. Portland is still trying to chase the Nuggets for the final playoff spot in the West, despite a 2-7 month of February.
Capitals Win 14th Straight Home Game With Shutout Victory
The Washington Capitals are having another season to remember as the Eastern Conference leaders, and they added to that momentum on Thursday. Braden Holtby made 15 saves in a 1-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils, which was a franchise-record 14th straight home victory for Washington. It was Holtby's eighth shutout of the year, as he was backed up by the lone goal of the game from Jakub Vrana. That tally came on the power play with 12:30 left in regulation. It was just Vrana's second goal in 14 career games, which was assisted by John Carlson. The Capitals have now gone unbeaten on their home ice in 2017, suffering their last home defeat on December 29th, against the same Devils' team. In this dominant streak, the first-place Caps are outscoring opponents 65-20, including six shutouts.