DeMarvelous Bulls Win It At The Buzzer
The Chicago Bulls (22-10) fly into Indiana to take on the Pacers (14-21) looking to extend their win streak to 6. Bulls started the week by beating Pacers at the United Center 113-105 giving them 1 win a piece so far this season. Since playing the Hawks twice the Bulls have added 2017 draft pick (instantly sold to Warriors) Jordan Bell on a 10 day contract. Will he finally play for the Bulls?
The Pacers have had a number of players enter protocols since playing the Bulls, including guard Malcom Brogdan and, the Bulls thorn in the side, Chris Duarte. Can the Bulls see out the year with a another W?
Into the 1st quarter and a strange start to the game as the Bulls seem unable to hit 3s whilst the Pacers start well but soon come to a bit of a halt. Coby White draws a foul whilst shooting a 3 and hits all 3 FTs but Pacers kept close by dropping 3s. Both teams can't seem to make a bucket. Pacers rotations seem to be quite quick which could work in Bulls favour as they start to fatigue and it definitely seems like the Bench Mob could be crucial to a W here. End of 1st and the Bulls Lead 25-23.
1ST QUARTER STATS
Demar Derozan - 10 points
Domantas Sabonis - 7 points
Bulls shooting 36.4%, Pacers 34.8%
From 3: Bulls 1/5 Pacers 3/8
Into the second and both teams will have to be better but its much of the same: Bulls seem to get some momentum going and then stop after a foul and Pacers get back into it. Matt Thomas looks impressive again in the minutes he's given dropping a couple of 3s. Zach LaVine hasn't really got it going yet, a lot of his shots going in and out 2/7 on FGs and 0/1 on 3s. End of the half and Bulls Lead 54-50.
DeRozan and White 12pts
Bulls leading the way in stats but just can't seem to pull away and they'll want to be better to enter the 3rd, and they seem to be as they go up by 9. And in a flash their lead is down to 1as the Pacers seemingly drop a 3 or draw a foul at the right time to halt Bulls momentum. Coby White has been impressive from 3 and that helps the Bulls keep the lead. Highlight play of the quarter comes as a lob pass by Ayo Dosunmu from the logo and dunked by Derrick Jones Jr.
A frustrating and uncharacteristic game so far from LaVine and DeRozan, will the 4th quarter King turn up tonight? Bulls lead 82-79 at the end of the 3rd. DeRozan and LaVine have combined for 26 points on 8-of-27 shooting through three quarters
Into the 4th and Bulls will need to put their foot down and pull away here. Coby White misses his 1st 3 a minute in to the 4th and the theme continues, Bulls manage to get up by 6 but Pacers won't go away and make it a one possession game again. Pacers take the lead at 6:30 minutes after a couple of missed 3s from the Bulls and are up 6, but the Bulls flip the script and close it to 1 after another White 3 with 1:40 left.
Cue an absolutely crazy end to the game,
Pacers are 1 up with 12 seconds to go, Ayo Dosunmu grabs DeMar DeRozan away from the refs and an ensuing tech, Pacers inbound but miss the bucket. DeRozan brings it up the court, looking like he's forgot the clock is ticking down, pulls up....
CUE A BUZZER BEATING 3 to win it 108-106! Bulls get the win for their 6th in a row and go 23-10. No stats needed at the end apart from DeRozan 1/3 3pts.
The Bulls claim the W but certainly had to work for it. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan both having off nights but still came through when it mattered. A special shout out to Coby White who had 24 points and went 6/7 from 3. Without him the Bulls lose. DeRozan finishes with 28 points and once again proves to be 4th quarter king. Ayo Dosunmu probably had the biggest play of the night by stopping DeRozan going at the refs and looked looked like a 10 year veteran in doing so. Bulls fly to the capitol next to take on the Wizards on Saturday night where they'll be looking to keep the rampage going.
-Matt H (Twitter:@matthearn1)