After a win on opening night, the Chicago Bulls were looking to make it two victories to start the season. However, while having a chance to win on the final possession, they suffered their first loss of the season, 102-100, to the Washington Wizards.
Despite going down as much as 17 in the third quarter, the Bulls fought their way back and made it a game with less than two minutes to go. Once again it was DeMar DeRozan in the fourth for Chicago as he scored 12 points in the quarter. He was getting to the line, making tough jumpers, and even contributed on the defensive end with a huge steal which tied the game at 100.
It looked like the Bulls would at least force this into overtime but Bradley Beal had other ideas. His runner banked off the glass to give Washington the lead with seven seconds left. Chicago had a chance to tie or go for the win and they nearly had another buzzer beater against the Wizards as DeRozan’s pull-up three-pointer went in and out to seal the defeat.
As good a look as you're gonna get.— Will Gottlieb (@Will_Gottlieb) October 22, 2022
Bulls drop this one 102-100
It was rough offensively overall for Chicago, despite some scoring outbursts which dragged them back into it. They shot 41 percent from the field and merely 25 percent from three. As we saw against Miami, when the Bulls hit the majority of their shots from downtown, good things happened.
The Bulls did make up it a bit by getting to the free throw line, shooting 33 attempts compared to just the 11 of Washington. It was Nikola Vucevic who led the way in that category with 12 attempts with DeRozan (11) right behind him.
DeRozan was again Chicago’s leading scorer with 32 points, six rebounds and six assists. He continues to be everything for this team offensively and the drop off is clear when he exits the court. DeRozan got the switch he wanted on the game-winning attempt and the jumper nearly went it.
Vucevic was the second leading scorer with 24 points. For the second straight game in a row he looked like a man on a mission offensively. He was posting up early in the shot clock, especially if their was a mismatch. Vucevic made just five of his 12 attempts but he got the line a ton and grabbed eight rebounds. This was another strong showing this season despite the poor shooting from the field.
Ayo Dosunmu started out hot in the first quarter but ended up with only seven points, two assists, and five rebounds. He struggled in the second half as Billy Donovan chose to rotate between him and Goran Dragic in crunch time minutes. Alex Caruso played well defensively as per usual but didn’t make much of an impact offensively, scoring just three points and shooting 25 percent from the field. He did add three rebounds, an assist, and three steals.
Andre Drummond and Coby White led the bench with 10 points each while the former also notched a double double with 10 boards as well. Goran Dragic was solid in his 23 minutes with seven points, five assists and two rebounds, both of which came on the offensive end. Javonte Green played just 15 minutes, adding two steals and two assists.
Patrick Williams once again had a poor outing of seven points, two rebounds, and zero assists. He had one block and shot just five shot attempts. It’s fair to say that Chicago needs a lot more out of Williams than what he’s given to start the season.
As for the Wizards, they were led by the 26 of Kyle Kuzma along with the 19 of Beal. Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points but fouled out late in the game on a DeRozan drive.
This was a frustrating loss for Chicago as even without Zach LaVine this was a matchup where they should have won. But the huge run in the third quarter forced them to play catch up for the rest of the game. In the end, the Wizards made the key basket when they needed it the most and the Bulls fell just short. Chicago needs to refocus from this defeat quickly as they have second game of a back to back against the Cavaliers tomorrow in the home opener. Hopefully they can have LaVine back.