After a really bad loss the other night, which featured one of the worst quarters of the season, the Chicago Bulls responded on the second night of a back to back with a much needed 108-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Nikola Vucevic once again led the way with 18 points and 16 rebounds while Coby White and Thaddeus Young both also scored 18. Chicago had a solid offensive game, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and had 52 points in the paint. They out-rebounded Charlotte 49-39 and were in control for pretty much the whole game. This marks Chicago’s third win in four games.
The Bulls started out of the gates hot, jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the opening three minutes. Charlotte did wake up offensively due to eight straight points by Devonte’ Graham yet the Bulls still led 34-24 at the end of the first. This was thanks to the play of Nikola Vucevic and Coby White who both had nine points each in the quarter. Chicago continued to keep their advantage at double digits for much of the second. The Hornets were a bit sloppy with the basketball with eight turnovers in the half along with numerous long rebound opportunities, which allowed the Bulls to get on the break. There were a number of sequences which ended in them having space to run in the open floor and it led to some easy baskets, including this dunk from White.
Charlotte looked to have closed the gap to eight with 1:31 left in the quarter but a quick 6-0 run by Chicago pushed the lead up to 14 heading into halftime. The Hornets were the ones with a lot of energy at the start of the third as they were able to cut the deficit to nine. Then Chicago responded with one of their best stretches of basketball of the entire game, going on an 11-0 run. This allowed the Bulls to push their lead up 20 as the game quickly turned into a blowout. It was 88-67 lead for Chicago at the end of the third as they looked to close out what already was a strong performance on the night. The Bulls maintained the lead in the fourth, going up by as much as 27. We even saw an absolute poster from Tomas Satoransky where he slammed it over two Hornets players.
With around three minutes left, Billy Donovan emptied the bench.
Again, the leader offensively was Vucevic. He made his presence felt on the interior, going five of six from inside the paint. Vucevic even added in six assists as he continued to show impressive passing skills for a big man. White had an efficient night scoring as he went seven of 10 from the field but he really made his mark from deep. He knocked four of his six attempts from downtown, more than any other Bulls player in the game. Patrick Williams scored nine points along with recording three rebounds and three assists. Garrett Temple and Daniel Theis both pitched in with nine points while the latter helped out on the boards with seven rebounds.
The bench was a real spark with the trio of Tomas Satoransky, Lauri Markkanen, and Thaddeus Young combining for 39 points. Young went eight of 10 from the field and had four rebounds along with three assists. Markkanen wasn’t as efficient, going four of 11 from the field, but added some outside shooting by knocking down three attempts from downtown. Satoransky only made four of his 10 attempts but still made his presence felt offensively. He led all Bulls in assists with seven dimes and also was a menace defensively with three steals.
As for Charlotte, they got 16 points from Graham and 13 from Miles Bridges, which included a play where he dunked on top of Vucevic. Terry Rozier added in 11 points and also had eight assists. It was a rough night overall for the Hornets as they missed a lot of shots at the rim and couldn’t get it going from three. Charlotte shot eight of 31 with three of those makes coming from Graham.
This was a game Chicago needed to have. They are still currently 12th however, but are only a half game behind Toronto and one behind the Wizards. The loss against Cleveland was a real tough pill to swallow, especially coming off the huge win in Boston against the Celtics. But tonight was a solid bounce back performance.
Next is back to back matchups in Miami against the Heat with games on Saturday and Monday.