When the Chicago Bulls go to sleep on Sunday night, Furkan Korkmaz will appear in their nightmares.
After scorching the Bulls for 24 points (including six 3-point field goals) in the first matchup between the two teams, the Turkish guard followed that up by torching the Bulls for 31 points in the Sixers’ 118-111 win against the Bulls on Sunday. 17 of those points came in the first quarter as Philly jumped out to an early 13-point lead after one and then pulled out a win late after the Bulls made a comeback.
The Sixers improved to 24-2 at home this season, while the Bulls showed they still have no answers for teams with winning records.
This was one of the Bulls’ “better losses of the season” if you want to start evaluating the quality of losses. The Bulls kept it close throughout the second half because of surprise contributions from two big men.
Luke Kornet had a career-high 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field. Although a cursory glance at the numbers doesn’t 100 percent back this up, he outplayed Joel Embiid and Al Horford (he went scoreless) for most of the night. Embiid scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds but was sloppy enough throughout the game that he felt the need to shush the home crowd (who had been giving him some grief about his performance) after hitting a key 3-point field goal late in the game:
Joel Embiid tells the crowd to STFU after this dagger pic.twitter.com/BRHlZXtC5w— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 10, 2020
The Philly crowd also wasn’t too pleased when Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen called a timeout down seven with just under 11 seconds to play in the game. They unleashed a chorus of boos at the Bulls head coach for something he has done habitually this season:
Philly crowd boo's Jim Boylen for calling a timeout with 10.9 seconds left after a challenge was overturned pic.twitter.com/RXyv23J3uh— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) February 10, 2020
In addition to Kornet’s big night, Cristiano Felicio had a season-high 13 points. The production came mostly in the first half and came across just 19 minutes of playing time. Zach LaVine was his typical brilliant self offensively, unleashing 32 points on 11-for-21 from the field. He coupled that scoring with eight assists.
LaVine had 15 points in the third quarter while also having a stretch where he scored or assisted on 25 of the Bulls’ 30 points. He was a big reason why the game was knotted at 83 apiece heading into the fourth quarter after it looked like the Bulls were about to get blown out early on. The Bulls actually won the third quarter 28-23 after winning the second quarter 30-22, giving them a chance to steal a win.
The Bulls couldn’t get many stops in the fourth quarter, though, as the Sixers ran up an 11-point lead in the final frame before finally settling on the seven-point victory. This loss drops Chicago to 19-35 on the season and gives them a five-game losing streak. The Bulls still only have the eighth-worst record in the league, and they’re 3.5 games behind the Magic for the No. 8 seed.
The Bulls’ next chance to get back in the winning column is Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards in their final game before the All-Star break. Chicago is 2-0 against Washington this season, though both games were competitive.