The Bulls run off the field in the fourth quarter against the rival Knicks
the Chicago Bulls they were taken from their home court by the New York Knicks on Friday night, losing the second half 56-38 en route to a 114-91 loss.
They have now lost six of their last eight and are 11-17 on the season.
Here are 10 observations:
1. The Bulls wasted no time stepping on the gas on this one. The hosts took a 19-13 lead at the game’s first stoppage (5:52, first quarter), and in that span they made eight of their 11 field goal attempts (3-of-5 from 3-point range) and dished six. . Everything assists without DeMar DeRozan shooting.
The Knicks responded, but ultimately the Bulls won the first quarter 32-29, marking the fourth time in their last five games that they’ve won the first quarter.
two. But, like Wednesday, offensive glass was a problem, particularly when backup center Andre Drummond fell into early foul trouble picking up three personals in a first-quarter period that lasted less than two minutes.
In the first four minutes of the second quarter alone (a stretch in which Derrick Jones Jr. played center), the Knicks grabbed five offensive rebounds, bringing their game total at the time to nine with nine second-chance points. Seven of those offensive rebounds came via bench players Isaiah Hartenstein (four), Jericho Sims (two) and Miles McBride (one).
3. The Bulls steadied the ship and actually had the Knicks hot on their heels in the last five minutes of the second quarter, going ahead 48-41. But in New York’s moment of need, Jalen Brunson stepped up to nail three straight hard-fought 3-pointers, catalyzing a 17-5 run in the final 3:06 of the quarter that could have been even worse if the Knicks they would not have done it. he went 3-for-7 from the free throw line in that stretch, to lead 58-53 at halftime.
Helping in that drive, the Bulls committed seven turnovers in the second quarter. Although the Knicks only converted three points from those snaps, they disrupted the Bulls’ offensive rhythm after a blistering start.
Four. Things only got worse in a third quarter in which the Knicks won 29-22 to take a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter. In that frame, the Knicks blitzed a dismal group of Bulls to force five turnovers and at one point led by as many as 16 points.
In fact, it got so bad that Donovan closed out the final 1:33 of the third quarter, and led off the first 2:38 of the fourth, without DeRozan, Zach LaVine or Nikola Vučević on the floor. The Bulls were -1 down that stretch and -4 just in the fourth quarter minutes as Donovan tried but couldn’t find a spark from a reserve group of Coby White, Goran Dragić, Ayo Dosunmu, Javonte Green and Drummond.
5. Donovan returned to his starting group (Caruso, LaVine, DeRozan, Williams and Vučević) trailing 95-79 at the 7:54 mark of the fourth quarter.
A series of Knicks daggers soon followed.
In the roughly three and a half minutes that followed that substitution, New York scored 12 straight points, the first six of which came on hotly contested 3-pointers by Julius Randle. The Bulls’ offense also stalled, with Williams and DeRozan missing midrange jumpers, Vučević missing a floating shot, LaVine committing, back-to-back turnovers, Caruso and DeRozan missing jumpers, and Williams missing a layup.
At the end of that stretch, the Bulls trailed by 28 points with 4:28 to play and had been outscored 20-4 in the fourth quarter. Donovan pulled at his headlines.
7. That starting unit, for what it’s worth, sported a +11.9 net rating on 210 non-junk time possessions coming into play, per Glass Clean. On Friday, that unit started the first quarter strong (+6 at 6:40). But it went downhill from there. Together, they meekly closed the second quarter (-11 at 4:45), opened the third similarly (-6 at 6:40) and were completely listless in a stretch of the fourth that they were outscored 12-0.
8. Give the Knicks credit for this: They shot well above their previously established baseline from 3-point range in this miniseries. After entering Wednesday’s game last in the NBA with a 3-point percentage (31.9), they shot 18-of-34 from that distance in their overtime win and 17-of-44 (38.6 percent) on Friday.
9. The Bulls shot 54.8 percent from the field on Wednesday and 46.8 percent on Friday (versus 40.2 percent for the Knicks). They lost both games.
How? Simply put, the Knicks dominated the battle for possession by grabbing 15 offensive rebounds (14 second-chance points) and forcing 20 turnovers (scoring 24 points of them). For the game, they attempted 92 field goals to the Bulls’ 77.
10 After some boos midway through the quarter, the United Center turned their attention to Derrick Rose, who has been out of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation for the past six games, in the contest. They got his wish:
The “MVP” chants were to be expected. But the crowd reacted with surprise and delight when Rose also drilled a confident 3-pointer.
In fact, it was a night best spent reflecting on better times rather than dwelling on the present.
Next up for the Bulls: against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.