The Chicago Bulls were looking to make it three wins a row as they headed out west to Oklahoma City. However, they went back to their season-long ways of losing to worse teams, this time in a 123-119 in overtime to the Thunder. It was a tough loss to swallow given how great the past two games have been on both sides of the ball.
This was a game of runs, as both teams battled back from double digit deficits. The Bulls final surge came late in the fourth quarter, and thanks to a bucket with 55 seconds left in regulation from DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls were able to force overtime.
In the extra period, the Bulls were able to take the lead late thanks to DeRozan, who scored all nine of their points in overtime. But in a defensive possession while up by two, he fell for a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander pump fake which gave OKC three free throws and subsequently the lead.
Brutal. DeMar got DeMar'd pic.twitter.com/YSojwEqBhW— Will Gottlieb (@Will_Gottlieb) November 26, 2022
With the ball back in DeRozan’s hands, he rose up for a classic mid-range jumper despite his defender draped all over him. But the shot bounced off the rim and into Josh Giddey’s hands, essentially ending it.
DeRozan led the way with 30 points despite a rough shooting night from the field (12 of 27). He also added six assists and five rebounds. It wasn’t the best game from DeMar as some of the shots he usually makes were not falling. Still, he was able to manufacture offense for Chicago.
Zach LaVine was right behind him with 27 points of his own. He knocked down four three-pointers while grabbing five rebounds along with five assists. LaVine was showing his usual explosiveness and got to the rim with a lot more ease. The one real blemish on his stat sheet would be the team high four turnovers.
Nikola Vucevic added a double double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Patrick Williams made it four Bulls starters in double digits with 11 points with seven rebounds to go along with it. He made all three of his attempts from downtown. Alex Caruso led the bench with 12 points, four assists, and two rebounds. Goran Dragic struggled in his return, scoring just two points (one of five from the field) in 11 minutes.
In a rotation change, Derrick Jones Jr. found himself back in as Billy Donovan opted to play him in the second half over Andre Drummond at backup center. This move made sense as Oklahoma City was running with a small ball lineup and the mobility of DJJ made sense against a smaller center.
As for OKC, SGA had 30 points while Darius Bazley had 17 off the bench. They too had four starters in double digits.
This was a game which sent the Bulls straight back to Earth. They hit just 43.6 percent of their 101 attempts from the field, and a merely average 36.4 percent from three. The Bulls committed 15 turnovers (including 5 simple traveling violations) and had 25 assists on their 44 makes.
It remains a trend with this team that seems to be complete opposite of last years. Chicago seems to step up and put in great performances against the top teams in the league but falter in games they are supposed to win. The offense looked clunky all game and it put the Bulls in a hole in the third quarter that they barely climbed out of to force OT. It ends up being a very dangerous thing for the Bulls as their defense is frankly not good enough to keep things afloat when shots aren’t falling.
Chicago has shown, especially recently, that there is a good team in there somewhere. They just have to play more consistently, especially on offense.
The Bulls next game is Monday night against the Utah Jazz.