Enhanced Box Score: Cavaliers 145, Bulls 134 – January 2, 2022

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Enhanced Box Score: Cavaliers 145, Bulls 134 – January 2, 2022

Chicago Bulls

I … I … I just don’t know.

On one hand, that was one of the most poorly officiated games I have ever seen. The moment the Chicago Bulls put a finger on a Cavs jersey, the whistle sounded. It led to an absurd 45 free throw attempts for Cleveland as five Bulls players finished the night with 4 or more fouls.

Whether it be Alex Caruso getting called for back-to-back lane violations or the Cavs being handed a ridiculous 17 free throws in the 3rd quarter, the officials took over this game in a way that was almost impossible for the Bulls to overcome.

On the other hand, a player doesn’t just score 71 points. What Donovan Mitchell did tonight was dominant, historic, and worthy of praise. I know it sure doesn’t feel like it right now, but he does deserve his props for joining one of the NBA’s most elite clubs. Likewise, the Bulls do deserve to be criticized for allowing him to shoot 22-34 from the field and knock down the two most important buckets of the game.

On a third hand, the Bulls should have never let Mitchell grab his own intentionally missed free throw and score the game-tying basket to force OT. They should have also never allowed him to sink a quick 3-point at the start of OT to give Cleveland its first lead of the night. I have no doubt that the officiating was a morale killer, but the Bulls let that infiltrate their brain and force a full-blown 21-point implosion.

On a FOURTH hand, I guess Mitchell should have also never gotten an opportunity to force OT because he committed a lane violation on his game-tying attempt (which, by the way, the refs called against the Bulls twice earlier in the game).


My brain is completely broken right now. I need some more time to process this mess, so we’ll touch base tomorrow. Bye. Sleep tight (I sure won’t).

Check out the full box score here.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.