BULLS NET THE W
The Bulls come into the Barclays Center with a 15-8 record to take on the Brooklyn Nets who were 16-6. The top 2 teams in the East. Its been a tough couple of days team news-wise for the Bulls with Javonte Green out with Covid and Alex Caruso a game time decision with a hamstring injury but he did end up getting the start.
The Nets raced into a 9-0 lead as Bulls couldn't get a bucket to fall. A timeout called by Donovan stopped the momentum. A couple of 3s from Caruso helped the Bulls get back into it and they managed to keep Kevin Durrant to 1-7 during the 1st and it ends with the Nets in the lead 34-28.
Into the 2nd and Bulls finally tied it at 42 after a Vucevic 3 around 5 minutes in and eventually taking their first lead 8 minutes in. Once they got the lead they seemed to let it slip again finishing the half down 56-52. That wasn't the only bad thing to happen in the first half as Caruso wouldn't return after going off in the 1st due to his hamstring injury.
DeRozan 14 pts, 4 rebs
LaVine 11 pts, 4 assists
Vucevic 9 pts, 4 rebs
Durant 12 pts
Millsap 11 pts
Harden 10 pts
Bulls are 5-11 from FT line
The 3rd started similar to the 1st with Bulls unable to drop a bucket and the Nets end up leading by 11 five minutes into 3rd. A big 3 from Lavine near the end closed the gap but the Nets still lead 82-79 at the end of 3rd.
Into the 4th and Bulls need their 4th quarter King DeMar DeRozan to help them out one more time. They come out looking good with some massive plays from Ayo Dosunmu and Derrick Jones Jr on the defensive end and they take the lead 4 minutes in and get their biggest lead 1 minute later. The biggest play of the 4th came from Lonzo Ball who has had a rough night scoring wise but he drops a HUGE 3 with 17 seconds left to put the Bulls up 110-105, making him 2-7 from 3. Bulls hold out and take the W 111-107 and clinch the season series.
(PUT THIS UP IN THE LOUVRE)
POST GAME STATS
LaVine 31 pts, 8 rebs, 6 assists
DeRozan 29 pts (13 in 4th), 6 rebs
Dosunmu 11 off the bench
A tough game for the Bulls who come in without 3 key players and then lose Alex Caruso during the second quarter. They dug deep especially in the 4th and secured a win against the top team in the east. The key was always going to be to stop Durant and they did that the first limiting him to 1-7 but he still managed to finish the game with 28 points. They did however stop James Harden as he finished with 14 points and 5-21.
The injuries saw minutes for Troy Brown Jr, Alize Johnson and Tony Bradley. Bradley and Johnson came in and gave some solid minutes, but Brown struggled going 1-4 from the field.
A second game in a row where Lonzo struggled to finish, especially from 3 and he finished with 8pts, 9rbs, 7asts, 2 stls ,2-7 on 3s. But he dropped the crucial 3 with 17 seconds to go and shows he can influence the game even when not effectively scoring throughout the game. A special shoutout to rookie sensation Ayo Dosunmu who became the Prince of the 4th quarter with some huge defensive efforts and a couple of big buckets. The Bulls seemed to struggle from the free throw line going 19-27 which at times was a momentum killer and they also gave up a lot of 2nd chance points but they come through and finish as Kings of New York!
-Matt H. (Twitter:@matthearn1)