After losing at home on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls got back to winning ways by defeating the Charlotte Hornets 114-98.
The Bulls were only up four at halftime but had a very strong third quarter which put them up 15 heading into the fourth. Despite Charlotte cutting the lead down to single digits Chicago did enough to hold them off by hitting timely shots.
Ayo Dosunmu led the way with a career high 22 points, doing so on scorching efficiency (nine of ten from the field). From the jump he was aggressive in driving to the basket and it helped Chicago’s offense get going.
Ayo was in attack mode tonight. pic.twitter.com/y4CAsPit8M— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) February 3, 2023
With Zach LaVine only taking eight shots and DeMar DeRozan (who before the game was named to the All-Star Team) shooting just four of 12 from the field, some of the other guys had to step up and they did.
Nikola Vucevic notched another double double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. He also added six assists. Andre Drummond made a huge impact in his 15 minutes of play, getting a double double of his own with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He was quickly finding his spots on the court looking for post up opportunities and created second chance opportunities with five offensive rebounds.
Coby White had a nice night as well with 20 points off the bench. He hit three of his five attempts from downtown along with four rebounds. He was looking for his shots as well with 13 shot attempts, second most of any Bulls player in the game.
As a team the Bulls were clicking offensively, shooting 51.9 percent from the field and hitting nearly 40 percent of their attempts from three. They had 24 assists on 41 made baskets but struggled to keep hold of the ball with 13 turnovers. Rebounding continues to be an issue for Chicago with Charlotte winning the battle on the boards and grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.
The Bulls did not leave this game unscathed with a couple of players picking up injuries. Alex Caruso played just seven minutes (seven points and three rebounds) before suffering a foot sprain which keep him out for the rest of the game. Patrick Williams rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter and Vucevic took a hard fall shortly after. It would be extra brutal for the Bulls at this stage of the season if they were to lose a couple of key guys due to injuries.
Charlotte was led by the 23 of Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball notched a 19 points, six assists, and eight rebounds stat line. They shot 20% (7/35) from three.
This was a good win for Chicago but again they have to show more consistency. Too many times with this team we will see a string of wins followed by some ugly losses. Nothing has changed in terms of the importance of this stretch heading into the trade deadline. Chicago has to pick a lane in terms of what their goal for the season is. Until management makes some moves or comes to a decision, the Bulls have to keep giving themselves a chance for the play-in spots.
There is one more game this week for Chicago with Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers coming to town on Saturday night.