After stumbling in the second half of their Summer League opener, the Bulls carried their struggles over to the first half of Tuesday’s game against the Spurs. The Bulls went down 22 points in the first half and trailed by 21 with a minute to go in the half before trimming that deficit to 15 at halftime. They they dominated the second half, with Patrick Williams coming alive to finish with 30 points in a 92-89 victory.
Williams capped off his big game with a trio of clutch buckets:
Exact same play the next possession down.— Mark K (@mkhoops) August 11, 2021
Williams screens the 2-guard, rolls into the post. Unlike last time, though, instead of hitting the MR jumper, drives baseline and hits the running floater. pic.twitter.com/z7RqzFsj6d
Patrick Williams with the JAM for the 30-piece! pic.twitter.com/8vQmmODymi— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) August 11, 2021
Williams struggled early on with his shot, but he continued to get up shots at a high rate like he did in the first game. His late surge got him to 10-of-23 shooting for the game, and he was 4-of-7 from 3-point range with some confident makes from deep. He was also 6-of-6 from the charity stripe to go along with seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and three turnovers. He was a team-best plus-15 in 34 minutes.
The confident face-up scoring in crunch time after the early shooting woes was nice to see. He still has a lot to work on offensively, but putting up these big numbers and closing out games is a plus.
The Bulls were also sparked in the second half by second-round pick Ayo Dosunmu. The Illinois product was quiet in the first half, but then he ratcheted up the defense and helped turn that into offense on the other end:
Ayo did a lot of his work in transition and finished with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals. Wreaking havoc defensively and making plays in transition is the way Dosunmu will need to make an impact as he starts his NBA career.
Marko Simonovic hit double figures again with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and three turnovers. He was one of the only bright spots in the first half and continues to look good running the floor:
Ayo to Marko on the break! pic.twitter.com/glrqZyYNmo— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) August 11, 2021
Those three players were the only ones in double figures for Chicago. Devon Dotson didn’t do much after his big first half with just two points on 1-of-7 shooting, but he did have five assists and had that nice final pass to Williams.
The bench had its moments in the second half as well, with Jaylen Adams and Ethan Thompson each hitting a pair of 3-pointers during the surge. The Bulls shot 8-of-17 from 3 for the game.
The Bulls’ next game in Vegas is on Thursday against the Timberwolves at 3 p.m. CT on NBA TV.