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Bulls vs. Cavaliers recap: DeRozan buzzer-beater misses and Bulls take the L

no comeback this game

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Bulls had another game head to crunch time, and like a few times over the past couple weeks there was a chance to steal a victory after being down for much of the game. Though while having a chance with the ball in the final possession, a DeMar DeRozan buzzer-beating-attempt missed as the Bulls took a 103-102 loss at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers at home.

The Cavs were without a couple of their best players in Evan Mobley and Darius Garland, though to counter that ‘schedule luck’ the Bulls were on the second night of a back-to-back.

None of the Bulls ‘big three’ played particularly great after having multiple strong combined efforts over this recent win streak (ish). DeRozan was the best of the bunch with 21 points on 17 shots, but also had 2 turnovers in the final few minutes and didn’t get the best look in that final possession. Zach Lavine had 15 points on 16 shots, and Nikola Vucevic had 11 on 13 attempts, as both combined to go a paltry 1-7 from three in this game.

Though interestingly when those three were in the game the Bulls did fairly well, including the final minutes where they almost stole the game by locking the Cavs down in the final minutes. It was when the bench started being peppered in the middle of halves where the deficit would swell to double-digits, including a game-worst 14 point deficit in the second half.

(I don’t know why Alex Caruso wasn’t starting. He did close the game and was a +11 in 25 minutes. If it’s injury prevention, he’s just as likely to fall face-first on the ground coming off the bench...)

The Cavs offensive star Donovan Mitchell did not have the best game either (15 points on 16 shots), with 7 turnovers ‘leading’ his team to 20 on the night. The Bulls had 15 steals.

But, in a familiar refrain, the opponents out-scored the Bulls by a lot from the three point line, hitting 13/38 (34.2%). More than a few were on offensive rebounds and other scrambling possessions. This has been a recent trend, getting buried in second-chance points, as the Cavs retained over 32 percent of their misses.

It’s also been a recent trend where the Bulls had kept the game close and pulled it out. In this one, that wasn’t the case. Not only the final miss, and the turnovers, but additionally 2 free throws were missed in the final minutes.

The Bulls, as we know, don’t have much margin for error. They will get another crack at this Cavs team as they head to Cleveland on Monday night, though it looks like Garland and Mobley will be back for that one.