The Bulls, who have been turnover-prone in the Boylen era (more like error, amirite?), actually were pretty good with the ball for much of this contest with the Brooklyn Nets, finishing with only 8 turnovers all game. But three of them were in the final 2:30 as the Bulls lose another one 95-93.
Kris ‘Klosing Ability?!?’ Dunn took a bulk of the offensive load in this game, and was the obvious go-to guy down the stretch. He scored the Bulls final points of the night, and his team-high 24th point, on a layup at the three minute mark. After that: he got the ball stolen from him, Bobby Portis missed a straight-on three, Dunn missed a mid-range shot, then committed an offensive foul on an obvious illegal screen, then this happened as after a timeout where they were clearly trying to get Dunn the ball at all costs.
Bulls with a chance to win the game, commit a costly turnover instead. pic.twitter.com/I77n7syhgs— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) December 20, 2018
Spencer Dinwiddie, who had been dueling Dunn for that 4th quarter (and to be fair had a screwup of his own dribbling out the entire shot clock in a last-minute possession), scored his 25th and 26th points to put his team up three, and Jim Boylen had no timeouts left to advance the ball and it was a heave into Lauri inside the three-point line because that makes sense.
It’s notable that Lauri didn’t get a shot off there, because he didn’t have a shot attempt for the final 3 quarters of the game, finishing with only 6 attempts overall in 32 minutes. (his one FT was off a technical, which he missed). You may have also noticed that he was assigned to inbound the ball on that fateful possession above. Wendell Carter Jr. was 4-10 in 24 minutes, looking scared to shoot at times, so not a good time for the frontcourt of the future.
But if you liked low-scoring with midrange attempts by Dunn and post-ups by Bobby Portis this one was for you. Those two combined for 39 of the team’s 91 field goal attempts. And honestly they were pretty good but not great: Portis had 11 rebounds but took 18 shots for his 16 points. I’m doubtful WCJ would’ve even seen the end of the game if Portis didn’t have to check himself out with an ankle sprain. Dunn was better, having the aforementioned game-high, but also those late turnovers....
Dinwiddie was the Nets main weapon, and came off the bench, hit 4-8 threes while the rest of the team was 4-17 from distance. Jarrett Allen had a nice show of himself as the roll-man, a perfect 5-5 in the first quarter and finishing 7-12 for 16 points on many a dunk. Though it was clear watching the Nets that though this was a team now on a 6 game winning streak, they had also played the night before.
Maybe the Bulls were similarly gassed from all those push-ups? It was especially bad in the 2nd quarter for both teams, when the Bulls had 12 points and went over 5 minutes without scoring but didn’t lose much ground. This really was a back-and-forth affair throughout with no team having a lead higher than 7. I actually thought they’d improbably win another close one, but it all fell apart pretty spectacularly after an unspectacular game.