For the Warriors, victories over winning teams are scarce.
That's why Saturday's 101-90 win over the Chicago Bulls, one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference, moves to the top of the chart as the highlight of the season thus far. Led by starting guards Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, who combined for 56 points and 13 assists, the Warriors sped away from one of the NBA's best teams.
They also got some revenge in the process.
"We owed those guys a lot," center Andris Biedrins said. "They beat us bad at their place. Our worst game of the year. It was ugly to watch that film."
The Warriors (22-27), winners of three straight, now have five victories over teams currently with winning records. They beat New York at Madison Square Garden back in November. The Knicks currently have a winning record but were 3-4 at the time. On Christmas Day, the Warriors beat visiting Portland.
Golden State has topped Utah twice at Oracle Arena. But the first win came five games into the season, when Utah was just 2-2. The second, last Sunday, came with Jazz guard Deron Williams sidelined by injury.
On Jan. 5, Golden State won on the road against a New Orleans team that was seven games over .500 and had won three straight. It was easily their biggest win of the season.
Saturday's win came against a Bulls squad that was riding a six-game winning streak. Chicago entered Oracle Arena 20 games over .500 and off to the
"Definitely our biggest win," forward Dorell Wright said after totaling 20 points and six rebounds. "With the way they're playing right now, and the level Derrick Rose is on definitely."
The last time the Warriors played Chicago, Rose had 22 points and 13 assists, leading a 30-point thrashing of the Warriors. This time, the Warriors had the MVP candidate bottled up.
Led by the defense of Ellis, the Warriors held Rose to 14 points on 15 shots, and his 10 assists were overshadowed by nine turnovers.
Chicago forward Carlos Boozer had a sexy stat line -- 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but it was hardly the dominance over the Warriors he's shown in the past. Golden State was able to defend him one-on-one with rookie big Ekpe Udoh giving Boozer the hardest time.
"Defensively," coach Keith Smart said, "we've been doing some great things, but we haven't been able to put it together for an entire game, or 40 minutes of a game. But (Saturday), I think we did it, except for a little bit of the third quarter. "... It was a perfect defensive game in the fourth quarter."
Phoenix (23-25) at Warriors (22-27), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA