The Bulls needed to confirm their return to form after defeating Boston, and so after a breathless match until the end, they put in a huge performance against the Bucks on their floor tonight.
Milwaukee quickly raced ahead to make it 16-7 (33-32) in the first half, led by Brook Lopez, until a DeRozan-LaVine-Green trio allowed Chicago to recover early.
The same scenario was repeated in the second quarter, this time with the external address of the Hill-Connaughton-Matthews trio, which increased to +12 (50-38). Chicago responded (62-61) before halftime, relying on Kobe White, Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic in the same way.
With the two teams trailing at the restart, the match took an abrupt turn when Giannis Antetokounmpo had to leave early for his fourth personal foul. DeMar DeRozan, who scored 18 points in the period, then helped the locals go on a 14-4 (79-87) run to end the festival with a 3-pointer in the third (83-90).
But it took more to topple the Bucks. After two baskets from Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo took matters into his own hands (95-95) between forceps and assists to Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen to get his nation back in the game. It was money time and the two teams made it a point of honor to go kick for kick!
Jevon Carter made a super drive before seeing Giannis Antetokounmpo hit the marker at the half and the Bucks were up (109-106) with just over 90 seconds left. Not enough to destabilize Chicago so far. The Bulls managed to find Coby White open twice for two “clutch” baskets in the corners to put Chicago back in the lead (109-112).
A poor pass pick between Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo made things difficult for Milwaukee, especially when Nikola Vucevic nailed a back-to-back 3-pointer against the board (109-115). Chicago then left the Fiserv Forum with a victory (113-118).
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Derby atmosphere. As is traditionally the case with games from Chicago to Milwaukee, the audience was split into a large section of fans making the short trip from the “Windy City,” about an hour and a half away from the Bucks’ home base. In addition to creating a pretty good atmosphere compared to what we’ve seen in the NBA in general, these oppositions generally offer a good matchup, with the duel finally changing in the final minutes, like last night.
– A duet that we definitely didn’t expect. While the ball tended to end up in the hands of DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine in those situations, the saves ultimately came from Coby White and Nikola Vucevic, showcasing the quality of Billy Donovan’s squad. Milwaukee made a huge gamble by leaving Coby White open twice and paying a heavy price for it. Nikola Vucevic also had his shot given the way Milwaukee defended him: triple bingo on the way for the Bulls.
✅ DeMar DeRozan. A series of forwards to be featured in all basketball schools! More seriously, his third quarter was a demonstration of what DeMar DeRozan can do with variety and efficiency with the ball (18 points, 7-of-9 shooting in the period). He even defended against Giannis Antetokounmpo, with success in the end!
✅ Coby White. Man at the end of the match with these two “clutch” baskets sent from these two corners. He ended the season with his best stat line in a win over Chicago. Off the bench, his other three teammates, Alex Caruso, Javonte Green and Andre Drummond, were each interesting in their own way.
✅ Brook Lopez. In the absence of Khris Middleton, his role is important. Giannis Antetokounmpo should have a true lieutenant next to him, and Jrue Holiday (14 points, 11 assists) and Brook Lopez had room to do something tonight. Not only did Pivot get his crowd going, but he was also invaluable in key moments, such as when he needed to stop the bleeding late in the third quarter. If the Bucks’ overall performance wasn’t enough, there’s little to be ashamed of in the 5th position.
✅⛔️ Giannis Antetokounmpo. There’s really nothing new about the ever-voluptuous, highly athletic “Greek Freak,” who still finished with a big stat line (36 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) but punctuated his game with plenty of turnovers. its air cannons, forced transitions, and other not-so-bright inspirations, as shown in 8 Lost Balloons!
Milwaukee (12-5): Bucks will be on deck Friday to host Cleveland (2:00 p.m.)
Chicago (8-10): The Bulls will always be on the road, as they are expected in Oklahoma City, also this Friday (02:00).