It looked like the shorthanded Bulls were going to spoil Victor Oladipo’s return and earn their first three-game winning streak of the season and second win over a team with a winning record, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Bulls collapsed down the stretch after building a 100-93 lead with 4:11 to play in regulation before ultimately losing 115-106 to the Pacers in overtime.
The Bulls didn’t score over that final 4:11 of the fourth quarter, with Zach LaVine faltering in a big way with five misses and a turnover. The last miss of regulation in the final seconds wasn’t LaVine’s fault because it sure looked like he was fouled by Oladipo, but the refs unfortunately swallowed their whistles to send the game to OT:
Nine seconds left and LaVine gets the ball for the win, doesn't get a shot off. Looked like Oladipo got his arm. pic.twitter.com/x8wzM1rR3o— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) January 30, 2020
Speaking of Oladipo, he struggled with his shooting all game off the bench before hitting the biggest shot of the night to tie things up at 100-100 before LaVine’s ill-fated game-winning attempt:
The Pacers then dominated the overtime period 15-6 to hand the Bulls a disappointing loss.
The late collapse ruined a legitimately spirited effort by the Bulls. While they shot a woeful 6-of-33 on 3-pointers (LaVine was 1-of-11), they took advantage of the absence of Myles Turner and wrecked the Pacers in the paint. The Bulls shot a ridiculous 39-of-52 (75%) on 2-pointers and 29-of-36 (80.6%) at the rim, with Chandler Hutchison shooting 10-of-11 himself in the paint en route to a career-high 21 points.
Cristiano Felicio added 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench, and he was shockingly a plus-21 at one point before the Bulls’ late collapse. Jim Boylen stuck with Felicio to end regulation and the start of overtime before going back to Luke Kornet, who was mostly ineffective in his 20 minutes.
Thaddeus Young had 16 points against his former team, while LaVine did get his 20 points, setting a new career high for consecutive games with at least 20 points. He has done it in 16 straight games. The Bulls star also added nine assists, but his poor shooting (7-of-23) hurt.
T.J. Warren led the Pacers with 25 points, while Malcolm Brogdon nearly notched a triple-double with 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Oladipo had just nine points on 2-of-8 shooting overall and 1-of-7 from 3, but he made that one count and gave an emotional postgame interview:
Oladipo tearing up during his postgame interview on the Pacers broadcast. Talked about Mamba Mentality after hitting the 3 that sent the game into overtime, how thankful he was for all of the support in helping him get back on the court: pic.twitter.com/lJmkOBsFGe— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) January 30, 2020
Thanks to this crushing loss, the Bulls are 1-19 against teams over .500. With the Nets beating the Pistons, the Bulls are three games back of both Brooklyn and Orlando. A Friday night date with the Nets in Brooklyn is up next.