It happened again.
The Chicago Bulls lost another 20-point lead in a 117-113 defeat on the road against the Indiana Pacers, just like they did three weeks ago. It’s another frustrating loss for the Bulls as they have now dropped a season-high five games in a row.
Bulls with the 2nd largest lead blown in the NBA this season. Also on the list multiple times. pic.twitter.com/N9YUPd9KR0— ✶ Ⓜ️ ▶️ ✶ (@_MarcusD3_) February 16, 2023
They started off scorching hot on offense, scoring 39 points in the first quarter and built up a solid advantage against a team they should be winning against. But Indiana fought back and made it single digits in the second quarter before the Bulls landed a counterpunch and took a 16 point lead into halftime. In the second half however, their resistance broke and the Pacers nabbed their first lead of the game with around eight minutes left.
Chicago still had multiple chances to win it. They were even up 106-100 with 3:44 to go. However they couldn’t get any stops. Each time Chicago took the lead Indiana responded. Myles Turner hit a three with 1:19 left which gave the home team the lead for good.
The Bulls played pretty well on offense, shooting 48.8 percent from the field. They seemed to have snapped out of their three-point shooting funk as they hit four shots from deep in the first quarter alone. Chicago ended up making 15 of their 35 attempts (42.9%). Turnovers were an issue, especially when the Pacers were getting back into the game. Chicago lost the ball 13 times.
Without DeMar DeRozan due to injury, this was actually one of Zach LaVine’s best games of the season and it’s tough to see it wasted in a loss. He nearly finished with a triple double of 35 points, seven assists, and 11 rebounds. He shot 10 of 23 from the field and went to the line 13 times. The volume from three was there as well with 11 attempts and he made four of them. He was aggressive all night and getting into the lane with ease, driving right by Pacers players. LaVine hit a tough jumper with a man in his face late in the fourth quarter, but once again his crunch time decision making was come into question. With 11.1 seconds left and Chicago down one, he took a fadeaway jumper in the corner with two defenders on him. While the clock was winding down a bit and he was open for a small time, there probably were better options/shots available for Chicago. It was a scrambled play to begin with and in the end, the Bulls without their best player end up taking a hurried shot with the game on the line.
Nikola Vucevic scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Patrick Williams scored in double digits with 11. Coby White had 25 points off the bench, including five makes from downtown. He hit some big shots in the fourth quarter when the Bulls were battling back after giving up the lead to Indiana. White continues to improve this season, especially when it comes to his expanding offensive skillset.
Ayo Dosunmu was a lot more aggressive in the absence of DeRozan, shooting the ball 12 times for 15 points and five assists. Billy Donovan only went three players deep into his reserves with Derrick Jones Jr. and Goran Dragic also out. We even saw consistent minutes for the rookie Dalen Terry. He was great in terms of energy and on ball defense but clearly needs improvement when it comes to shooting the basketball. He finished with zero points but had two rebounds along with a block.
Really slow release, in part because the ball dips real low before it comes back up.— Mark K (@mkhoops) February 16, 2023
Not sure if Dalen drew iron on either of his 3s.
Needs serious work over the offseason if he's going to be a rotational guy. pic.twitter.com/Vn3ouwaKwW
Indiana got 27 from Buddy Field, who hit six three-pointers and 21 points from Aaron Nesmith. Chris Duarte and Benedict Mathurin each scored 14 points off the bench.
Chicago has to recover quickly from this defeat as they play a second game of a back to back in less than 24 hours against the Milwaukee Bucks. It is important game for not only this years Bulls but for previous teams as well as it’s going to be a TNT game at the United Center. The #TNTBulls are back and will be looking to make it 21 regular season wins in a row.