The Bulls didn’t quite look like they knew how to handle Philly’s ultra-small lineup during the 1st quarter. While they were able to find Vooch on some easy mismatches inside, they arguably weren’t doing it enough. Meanwhile, Philly’s spacing was giving an inconsistent Bulls defense some fits. They hit five threes in the first quarter and didn’t need much time to expand their lead to as much as 13.
As the minutes went by, however, Chicago ramped up the pressure. A big-time 28-11 run to end the half was ignited by turning defense into offense. Zach LaVine, Ayo Dosunmu, and Derrick Jones Jr. each played a key role in helping the Bulls push the pace in transition.
LaVine, in particular, finished the first two quarters on a strong note, adding 13 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals to the box score. But that was just the beginning.
Over the next two quarters, Zach LaVine would take complete control of the game. The Chicago Bulls’ max player scored 28 points in the second half (19 of which came in the 3rd quarter) behind a completely dominant showing from downtown. His 11 three-pointers helped Chicago shoot 20-34 from behind the arc and 57.1 percent from the field.
Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic also strung together two impressive performances. After finishing the first half with zero points, Williams scored 16 in the 3rd quarter and 18 in the game in what was a +20 night for the youngster. Meanwhile, Nikola Vucevic ate this small 76ers lineup alive, finishing with 19 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season.
I know there was no Embiid tonight and that will lead some to cast this win aside, but any win for the Bulls right now is a good win. Plus, the 76ers have still won six of nine games without Embiid this season. They earned this W, and they deserve credit for not letting two gut-wrenching losses to Cleveland derail things.
See ya tomorrow for a battle with Lauri Markkanen!
Check out the full box score here.