I guess Donovan Mitchell scoring 71 didn’t shatter the Bulls’ spirit.
After putting together one of their better first-half performances on Monday night, the Bulls did nothing but the same in the first two frames against Brooklyn. In what was expected to be an offense-first matchup against Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Chicago Bulls fired away. They tied their season-high with 40 points scored in the 1st quarter and shot 57.8 percent before walking into the locker room.
It took no time for the Bulls to get four of their five starters in double figures. And, as I tweeted before the game, the key matchup in the first half ended up being at the center position. The Brooklyn Nets lack true experience and size in the middle, which opened the door for Vucevic to take complete command of the paint. Not only did he snatch 8 rebounds in the first two quarters, but he also scored 17 points on an easy 6-7 shooting performance. He went on to finish the game with 21 points and 13 rebounds to pace the Bulls toward a 46-34 victory on the glass.
The most impressive performance of the night, however, goes to Patrick Williams. The Chicago Bulls’ youngster had easily his best game of the season, tying a team-high with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals. He set a physical tone on the offensive end with a perfect 7-7 trip to the free throw line, and he also made the Nets pay for leaving him open behind the arc with a 3-4 shooting display.
I know we’ve said it before, but this really felt like a game for Williams to build on moving forward. The 21-year-old saw just how influential he could be against one of the best teams in the league, and he did it all within the confines of the Bulls’ system.
Ayo Dosunmu also deserves a big shoutout for his well-rounded effort. As the Nets stormed back into the game during the second half, it was Dosunmu’s 13 points and multiple defensive stops that kept the Nets’ at arm’s length. Then, in a position to win the game, DeMar DeRozan made sure to seal the deal with 10 points in the final 7:31.
So, yeah, this win means the Chicago Bulls have snapped the Brooklyn Nets’ 12-game win streak. It also means they are now 8-1 against the Nets, Celtics, Bucks, and Heat this season. What does that tell us about this team? I have no idea! In fact, the only thing I know for sure is that this is one of the most mind-boggling Bulls teams we’ve seen in quite some time.
Check out the full box score here.