After a couple of heartbreaking losses at home, the Chicago Bulls finally made the plays when it mattered the most to win a double overtime slugfest against the Minnesota Timberwolves 139-131. It took the TWolves losing their best player Anthony Edwards early in the game, and some truly choking moments from the visitors, but for once it wasn’t the Bulls who coughed up the game that was up for grabs.
Chicago fought back from a 10 point fourth quarter deficit to force the extra period, concluding with a DeMar DeRozan layup with 20.1 seconds left. Minnesota had a chance to win in regulation but did this instead:
this game rules pic.twitter.com/w5wQvjMlor— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 18, 2023
Then in OT, the Bulls did it again to send the game to double overtime when Zach LaVine scored with 11.1 seconds remaining.
In the second extra period, the Bulls turned on the jets as they scored seven of the game’s last nine points to grab the victory. It was culminated with a poster from Nikola Vucevic that turned out to be the game-sealing bucket.
CLEAR THE RUNWAY FOR VOOCH ✈️@NikolaVucevic | @NBCSChicago pic.twitter.com/54kjBYqz86— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 18, 2023
It was a monster effort from Chicago’s big three as they combined for 109 points. DeRozan led the way with a whopping 49 points, including 25 points in the second half. DeRozan had his own heroics in overtime as well and in classic DeMar like fashion.
Deebo getting buckets in double OT @DeMar_DeRozan | @NBCSChicago pic.twitter.com/T6crewsCnu— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 18, 2023
LaVine showed he can help lead Chicago in the clutch as well, scoring 39 points and five assists. He was picking his spots to attack the Timberwolves defense on key possessions. While it is hard for both Zach and DeMar to replicate this type of exact production nightly, when both of them have great nights offensively is a recipe for success for Chicago.
Vucevic had 21 points and 11 rebounds with three blocks and two steals.
The Bulls made a lot of shots, hitting 54.3 percent of their field goals, but the 3 point volume again was an issue with only 24 attempts (compared to the 42 of Minnesota). Chicago committed just 11 turnovers and had 23 assists on 51 made baskets.
The Bulls only got 18 points from their bench with Coby White’s eight points leading the way. Patrick Williams had six while Ayo Dosunmu had four.
The Timberwolves were led by the 28 points of Mike Conley, who hit eight shots from downtown. Jaden McDaniels had 28 points while Rudy Gobert had a double double of 21 points and 19 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.
Chicago with this victory is now back into the play-in spots. They leapfrogged the Pacers and Wizards to land in 10th place. However there is more work to do as they are 1.5 games back of the 9th place Raptors and 2.5 games back of the Hawks in 8th. With only 13 games left in the regular season, it’s now or never for Chicago. Every game means so much to their playoff chances and they cannot afford anymore losing streaks. After the gut wrenching loss to Sacramento, this was a much need bounce back win for the Bulls as they continue to fight for a postseason berth.
While it was awesome to see a double overtime thriller, this puts the Bulls at a disadvantage as they have to play the second game of a back to back the next night against the Miami Heat.