The pattern sustained tonight: tough matchup, another loss, and a continued slide down the Eastern Conference standings. And in particular an inability to beat Joel Embiid and the Sixers. The Sixers completed a 4-0 season sweep, and Embiid still has never lost to the Bulls in his career, as he scored 43 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Philly outscored Chicago in each quarter en route to a 121-106 loss.
It’s now the fifth straight loss for the Bulls.
Chicago started out the game well, going up by as much as eight in the first. But Sixers regained the lead by the end of the first period, and were mostly at a 8-14 point advantage all night. Each time the Bulls would get any closer, Philly responded with a three or the Bulls missed a shot which would have fully swung the momentum. Philadelphia started to run away with it at the end as the Bulls couldn’t make the necessary stops to keep this a tight game.
As a team, Chicago had a merely ok night offensively. They shot 44 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. They had 13 turnovers as a team, which led to 18 points for the Sixers. Zach LaVine led the way with 24 points, five assists, and eight rebounds. He went eight of 19 from the field including three of six from deep but struggled to hold onto the ball at times with five turnovers. DeMar DeRozan had a poor shooting night efficiency wise per his lofty standards, getting a double double of 23 points and 11 rebounds but shot just six of 17 from the field. Philadelphia did their best to trouble DeRozan as they doubled him anytime he drove into the paint or even at times all the way out at mid court.
The Bulls were even more undersized than usual in this one, with Nikola Vucevic out due to a leg injury. Tristan Thompson got the start and finished with 13 points and nine rebounds but he struggled to guard Embiid, picking up five fouls in the process. Tony Bradley saw his first game action in a while but was scoreless in six minutes and didn’t fare much better than Thompson.
Elsewhere, Javonte Green had just five points but grabbed six rebounds and had two assists. Ayo Dosunmu had 11 points, four assists, and three rebounds while going five of 12 from the field. Coby White led the bench in scoring with 19 points as Billy Donovan once again went with only four reserve guys. Troy Brown Jr. had a brutal six minutes that saw the Bulls go -12 in that time.
Other than Embiid, Philly had four other guys score in double digits. James Harden had a double double of 16 points and 14 assists while Tyrese Maxey had 17. Georges Niang had 14 off the bench with 12 of them coming from three.
With their defense the way it is at the current moment, Chicago needed to play a perfect offensive game to have a chance. As soon as things started to sputter on that end of the court, things started to get away from them.r Their next matchup is against Detroit on Wednesday night.