There was a recurrence. Just like they did against the Indiana Pacers three weeks ago, the Chicago Bulls blew a 20-point lead and fell 117-113 on the road. The Bulls’ losing streak is at a season-high five games now.
Bulls with the 2nd largest lead blown in the NBA this season. Also on the list multiple times. pic.twitter.com/N9YUPd9KR0
— ✶ Ⓜ️𝕒𝕣𝕔𝕦𝕤 ▶️ ✶ (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2023
They got out to a blistering offensive start, scoring 39 points in the first quarter, and quickly establishing a comfortable lead over a club they should have no trouble defeating. Although Indiana rallied and cut the deficit to single digits in the second quarter, the Bulls responded with a 16-point advantage going into the locker room. But the Pacers eventually broke through in the second half, and they scored the game’s deciding basket with about eight minutes remaining.
The Bull’s offense was solid, resulting in a 48.8 percent shooting clip. In the first quarter alone, they seemed to have shaken off their shooting slump, as they made four three-pointers. In the end, Chicago converted 15 of 35 shots (42.9%). The turnovers were a problem, especially as Indiana was making a comeback. Chicago had 13 turnovers.
With DeMar DeRozan out with an injury, Zach LaVine had one of his best games of the season, and it was disappointing to see it go to nothing. When the game was through, he had scored 35 points, dished out seven assists, and pulled down eleven boards. He attempted 23 shots, made 10, and went to the free-throw line 13 times.
Eleven shots were fired, and he was successful with four of them, thus the intensity from three was present as well. He played an aggressive game, easily slicing through the Pacers’ defense to get to the basket. Despite completing a challenging jump shot with a defender in his face late in the fourth quarter, LaVine’s ability to make good decisions in the clutch has been called into doubt.
He took a fadeaway jumper from the corner with 11.1 seconds remaining and Chicago behind by one. There were certainly better options/shots for Chicago, even though time was running out and he was available for a little period. The play was chaotic from the start, and it culminated in a last-second shot by the Bulls, who were missing their finest player.
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Two players reached double digits in scoring: Nikola Vucevic (19 pts, 7 rpgs) and Patrick Williams (11). Coby White scored 25 points in reserve and made five three-pointers. When the Bulls had just given away the lead to Indiana, he stepped up with some clutch shots in the fourth quarter. This season, White has shown steady development, notably in his offensive prowess.
Without DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu took 12 shots, scored 15 points, and dished out 5 assists. Since Derrick Jones Jr. and Goran Dragic were also sidelined, Billy Donovan was forced to use only three of his bench players. Even rookie Dalen Terry saw regular playing time. In terms of effort and on-ball defense, he was outstanding, but his shooting skills certainly need work. His final stats were 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 1 block.
Really slow release, in part because the ball dips real low before it comes back up.
Not sure if Dalen drew iron on either of his 3s.
Needs serious work over the offseason if he’s going to be a rotational guy. pic.twitter.com/Vn3ouwaKwW
— Mark K (@mkhoops) February 16, 2023
Buddy Field scored 27 points for Indiana, all on threes (he made six total), and Aaron Nesmith added 21. Off the bench, Chris Duarte and Benedict Mathurin combined for 28 points.
Chicago has less than 24 hours to get over this loss before facing the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half of a back-to-back. The TNT broadcast at the United Center will make this a pivotal game for the Bulls of all eras. The #TNTBulls are getting ready to try for their 21st consecutive regular-season victory.
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