The only thing that would have made tonight better is if Lonzo Ball yelled “psych,” checked into the game, and drained a career-high in 3-pointers.
From start to finish this was exactly the kind of game fans wanted to see. The moment Dallas announced that Luka Doncic would have to sit out due to a quad injury was the moment the Bulls knew they had to dominate. Anything less than that would’ve felt underwhelming when we consider the hole this group is trying to dig itself out of. This was an opportunity to build confidence, create some momentum, and remind everyone that this group means business.
And, to Chicago’s credit, they did just that.
The game started with an explosive 22-6 run. While the Mavs were able to pull things within 5 points at the end of the quarter, the Bulls were already in a strong enough rhythm to take complete control of the game. They went on to score 42 points in the 2nd quarter and take an absurd 82-53 lead into the locker room. Yes, that was the real score. And, yes, it broke the record for most first-half points in franchise history.
I know … insane.
Over the next two frames, the Bulls were able to cruise to victory behind a 63.5 percent outing from the field and a 55.9 percent performance from behind the arc. A total of seven players finished in double figures, as DeRozan led the way with 28 points on just 13 made field goals.
What was arguably most encouraging was the fact that the Bulls’ “big 3” set the tone from the jump. After putting together a strong second half to squeak out a win over the Wizards, they came out looking as comfortable and energetic as they have all season. And this could prove especially important with another game less than 24 hours away.
LaVine and Vucevic only had to clock 26 minutes of action, while DeRozan played an easy 31 minutes. While any back-to-back will come with its challenges, the Bulls should at least walk in with fresher legs than normal.
See ya then!
Check out the full box score here.