” They came to play. They were desperate enough to get a win, we needed that same desperation. “ Jacque Vaughn sums up in a few words the state of mind displayed by the Bulls who sought to erase two losses in a row against the Cavs. Successful operation and not the least since the team in the best shape of the league presented itself opposite.
This victory is first of all that of an attack which has shown signs of flourishing and has been able to show that the danger could come from everywhere, not only from its three major players. Thus, no less than six elements finished at 10 points or more, where the attack of the Nets rested almost exclusively on the shoulders of Kevin Durant, only supported by Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry.
Defensively overwhelmed in the first quarter (40-33), the Nets started the second period ten points behind (69-59) but with better defensive intentions. Enough to return to a single possession twelve minutes from time (88-85).
But with a five “small ball” in the first minutes of the fourth, galvanized by the energy of the duo Ayo Dosunmu – Goran Dragic, the Bulls will escape again to the score (106-95) without the Nets managing to do better than an exchange of baskets – between Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan especially – to finish.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Almost all the Bulls in the positive. Rare enough to be underlined. Only Coby White, author of an important award-winning basket in the last quarter, finished with a negative impact (+/-) with a score of -3, unlike the eight other players mobilized. Opposite phenomenon with their opponents, with only two players from the bench finishing in a minimal positive.
– The Bulls still win against a “big” from the East. Their recurring concern last season is not this year. The Bulls are now two wins in two games against the Nets. Same record against the Bucks for them who also beat the Celtics twice out of three, and also defeated the Heat twice (out of two). However, they have not beaten the Cavs once in three games.
– End of series for the Nets. New Yorkers will still have rolled in the league for the whole month of December. When they started their good series, they only occupied 8th place in their conference, with a barely balanced balance sheet. They are now in the Top 3 in the East and a victory tonight would have allowed them to equalize their record with that of the number 1, the Celtics.
✅ Five of the Bulls. With the exception of a very average Zach LaVine, the other four contributed a lot. Patrick Williams behaved like an X factor in Mr. Clean mode. Nikola Vucevic has been an important focus inside, well fueled below. And the Dosunmu – DeRozan pair was decisive in the last act. The first notably signed an important interception in the middle of the quarter on a transmission from Kevin Durant, before leaving for the dunk. The second then made his elegance speak with his “jumpers” at the head of the racket to maintain the gap. The two men scored the majority of their team’s points in this final quarter.
✅ Kevin Durant. The insanely efficient scoring machine has struck again. “KD” approached its best mark of the season (45) by multiplying the exploits in attack. Systematically taken two when he was at the post, he was also a very important point of attachment to free a shooter like Seth Curry. Durant and he were the few to crash from afar (11/17) since the rest of the team finished with a sad… 1/20 from afar.
⛔ Royce O’Neale. He gave himself in defense, on Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan, but the former Jazz player weighed down his team by his inability to take the slightest shot (0/9!). He missed his last two – very open – shots in the last two minutes that would have given his team a close shot. It will be recalled that before this meeting, he posted his best career average in points and in 3-point success (43%).
Chicago (17-21) : trip to Philadelphia, Friday.
Brooklyn (25-13) : trip to New Orleans, Friday.