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Bulls vs. Hawks final score: Ayo wins it with putback at buzzer as Bulls win second straight

Bulls are clutch?

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks
not the actual buzzer-beater
Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

Wild Bulls game in Atlanta tonight, as they were on the second night of a back-to-back on the road and gutted out a 110-108 victory on this put-back buzzer-beater by Ayo Dosunmu.

It was shaping up to be a different kind of demoralizing loss, as the Bulls led by as many as 18 in the first half only to see themselves down as much as 8 in the 4th quarter. But DeMar DeRozan hit several jumpers coming off of screens, did not foul out of the game on the other end (he played with 5 fouls for a long while), and Zach LaVine’s typically iffy shot selection down the stretch didn’t look so bad because the shots went in, with 3 of them coming in the final 3:30 of action.

This time, the clutch ‘luck’ was on the Bulls side with that DeRozan miss bouncing off of John Collins (though that was typical of Collins’ game tonight) after the Bulls had made their last seven shots down the stretch. The Hawks had quality offense of their own but it wasn’t make-every-shot quality.

Despite the blown lead, this was an impressive and gutty effort from the Bulls and it was good to see them get the victory they deserved. Not only on a back to back, but missing several rotation players as Green, Jones, and Dragic were all ruled out prior to the game and Alex Caruso was knocked out (hopefully not literally, it’s still TBD) in the second half. The Bulls were so shorthanded that Dalen Terry, who flew in from the GLeague tournament extremely early this morning, received some second half moments. They were bad minutes, but the Bulls survived and remained close enough to actually pull out a clutch victory for once.

As a result DeRozan, LaVine, and Patrick Williams (some nice on-ball defense and a huge late jumper) played 37 minutes. Ayo went all the way up over 34 minutes after looking like the last guard in the rotation a couple games ago. It was another night where the Bulls ‘big’ 3 all went over 20 points, with DeRozan once again leading the way with 28 with 10 coming in the 4th.

This is not a game where anything is un-screwed: the Bulls still went totally cold from three (1/10 in second half after 6/14 to run out to a big lead in first half) and had many screwups defensively. A couple jumpers don’t fall and it’s another story talking about lack of clutch play.

But it also goes to show that they were never that screwed in the first place, at least in terms of being ‘competitive’ for a play-in spot this season. There is talent here, and they will win enough games to always be in it. The Hawks are not too dissimilar and have their own problems, committing 15 turnovers in this game and some of the truly baffling variety, with that final inability to secure the defensive rebound not a turnover but indicative of how they didn’t deserve to win. Of course deserve’s got nothing to do with it, but for tonight the randomness went the Bulls’ way.