The Bulls once again saw their offensive ineptitude put them in a big deficit that they couldn’t get out of, as they finish their 6 game road-trip 2-4 after losing to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday 110-101.
The Bulls only got to 101 points against one of the league’s 18th best defense even with Zach LaVine having his highest scoring game of the season at 41 points. It was more like a 35 point effort, LaVine stat-padded as the game was decided, but LaVine’s insanely tough shotmaking was pretty much all the Bulls had offensively as a team.
Zach. LaVine.— Will Gottlieb (@Will_Gottlieb) December 5, 2022
28 points, 11 of which have come in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/gb11wLI7os
But no other Bulls did much of anything. DeMar DeRozan was the Bulls’s next highest scorer with a quiet 18 on 6-18 shooting. Vucevic had one of his worst games, finishing with 12 and passing up open threes in the fourth quarter. The Kings were getting away with playing off of Vuc, Caruso, and Williams (back in the starting lineup for the injured Javonte Green) and concentrating on LaVine and DeRozan. The Bulls role players did not make Sacramento pay for that gamble, at all.
The bench had one of their worst games of the season, as a reserve unit they (Dosumnu+White+Drummond+Jones+Dragic) combined for 8 field goals to 7 turnovers.
The Bulls had 16 turnovers on the night, with a staggering 11 in the 2nd quarter alone. So after a first quarter that saw the Bulls try do moderately well in keeping up with the Kings distance shooting, these cough ups saw them at a 15 point deficit yet again on this road trip. Then, ultimately the big problem is still the big problem: Bulls a mere 9-25 from three tonight. So there wasn’t an outlier shooting game, and then they couldn’t succeed at their possession-generating identity to make up for that.
In the 3rd quarter, LaVine had 15 in the period alone and the with the Kings having turnover problems of their own (more than the Bulls with 18!) the deficit got to within 4 at the beginning of the final quarter, then at 1 a few minutes later.
But the Bulls once again couldn’t totally complete the comeback, and we saw some familiar reasons why: costly miscues (Williams dropped a pass), offensive impotence (Caruso was just left wide open and he bricked a couple jumpers), and both LaVine and DeRozan seeing a tighter defense and whistle down the stretch meant the Kings could make enough plays to get back the lead over double digits and cruise in the final minute.
Unlike the Bulls one-man show, the Kings production came from all over, with 7 players scoring in double figures. Malik Monk led them off the bench with 20, making some ridiculous shots of his own:
Malik was gettin' busy today against the Bulls— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 5, 2022
20 PTS (Team-high)
50% FG pic.twitter.com/IlOY5kNll5
The Bulls get a few days rest before hosting the Wizards on Wednesday.