The Spurs were missing DeMar DeRozan who is their leading scorer. The game was at the United Center. The Bulls came out with energy and had a big lead early, absolutely controlling things for about 2.5 quarters. But then the Spurs got hot.
It looked like it would be all smiles and hugs and fun basketball for Thaddeus in career game 1000. In a cutthroat league where players constantly get cycled in and out, 14 years is a heck of an accomplishment. Here’s some context to give an idea of how good of a career it has been for Thadgic Johnson.
After going 2-16 from three in the first half, the Spurs went on a 15-0 run between the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth quarter to get into a game where the Bulls lead was as high as 23 points. With 5:19 left in the fourth, a floater from Dejounte Murray gave San Antonio a 90-89 lead. They didn’t look back from there as they pulled away to a 106-99 defeat of the Bulls.
Despite starting ice cold from distance, the Spurs wound up hitting 8 threes in the game which was only three less than the Bulls makes. The free throw line was a total wipeout: the Spurs going 22-30 while their league-best ability to not foul played out as they only sent the Bulls to the line for 9 attempts. LaVine was the only starter to attempt a free throw.
Here’s an executive summary of how the Bulls blew it.
Bulls last six possessions:— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 18, 2021
-Sato missed jumper
-Thad Young missed dunk
Game has quickly gotten away from them.
Ol Popovich with a heck of an adjustment in the second half. Threw in some full court pressure, halfcourt traps and got the Bulls out of their rhythm and Spurs back into the game.— Tyler Pleiss (@Tyler_Pleiss) March 18, 2021
Really another unconscionable loss for a young Bulls team that still can’t figure out how to finish off these games.
This was a game that flipped the script of what we had seen for most of the season. As the young players moved to the bench, it was the bench then that had the ugly +/- lineups. As a whole the bench shot 12-29 for 27 points. With a combined 5 turnovers to 4 assists.
The Bulls as a team had 17 turnovers. Thadgic ironically led the team with 6.
This was a Boylen-era level loss in terms of how ugly it was. How much longer until the ‘we’re still a young team, give us time’ excuse grows stale?