While leading by 28 points in the 3rd quarter, the Bulls finally trembled until the end since Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will have an equalizing ball three seconds from the siren. His 3-point step back does not fit, and Chicago can breathe since it is Javonte Green who scores the free throw for the victory. Behind, Mike Muscala’s 3-point buzzer was useless and the Bulls won 111-110 at OKC.
But it was complicated when the team had taken off and seemed set for a very quiet victory. Blame it on a guilty release but also on the pride of Lu Dort, Ty Jerome or even Josh Giddey, and an all-terrain defense of the Thunder.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– LaVine In, DeRozan Out. This meeting marked the great return of Zach LaVine after a stint in the infirmary to relieve his knee. Suddenly, the staff had decided to leave DeMar DeRozan, who had been very used for 15 days, to rest. The previous day’s defeat in Orlando had left its mark, and there was no point in pulling too hard on the rope.
– An epic endgame. If you’ve never seen a team panic, take a look at the “money time” of this meeting. While still leading by 15 points five minutes from the end, the Bulls will completely crack after Ayo Dosunmu’s sixth foul. First they take an 11-0, and then it’s a festival of trash, unable to find a shot in 24 seconds against the Thunder’s all-terrain defense. Result: Chicago only scored free throws in the last 150 seconds.
✅Ayo Dosunmu. Best career mark for the Bulls rookie, and it was he who put his teammates on the right track. He scored 10 points in the first quarter. He adds eight assists, a “buzzer beater” at the end of the 3rd quarter… In short, a dream match for this superb Bulls pickaxe in a style that inevitably recalls DeMar DeRozan with this search for the mid-distance shot. It should be noted that his exit, for six faults, coincides with the slump of the Bulls.
✅ Nikola Vucevic. Disappointing the day before against his former team, the Montenegrin had a good evening. And fortunately ! From his performance, we will remember his big move to 3-pointers in the 3rd quarter to bring the gap to more than 20 points. Like his teammates, he then disappeared in the “money time”.
✅ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He misses the winning shot, but he behaved like a leader to convince his teammates that there was room to pull off the hold-up. Faced with a private training of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, he had a lot of freedom, and he found the right balance between scoring and creation.
⛔ Coby White. Another disappointing outing as he has the playing time and setup to shine. In his defense, he scored the 3-pointer which air-conditioned the room and made everyone breathe!
OKC (14-33) : a nice break before receiving the Pacers on Friday.
Chicago (29-17) : return home to challenge the Raptors on Wednesday.