Doug McDermott went 0-for-5 from the field in the first half of the Chicago Bulls’ 105-95 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night. But then came a pass from Jimmy Butler, and McDermott went for a three-pointer at the 5:18 mark of the third quarter. This time it went in, and McDermott got going.
McDermott contributed 23 points (8-19 FG, 5-11 3PT, 2-2 FT), five rebounds and two steals in the victory. All of his points came in the second half of the game, but while it wasn’t until the second half that the Bulls found their rhythm, they still held their own in the first half — thanks to Jimmy Butler. Butler also finished the night with 23 points (7-12 FG, 1-3 3PT, 8-12 FT) but also added three rebounds, six assists and a steal. He scored nine points in his nine minutes of play during the first quarter, and it played a contributing factor in keeping the Bulls in the game early on.
The Bulls shot a mere 28.0 percent from the field in the first quarter, but, with their defense and Butler’s play, only trailed 20-16 at the quarter’s end. It’s not that the Bulls weren’t getting good looks, though, because they did get their fair share. They just couldn’t make them. The Bulls also played a bit sloppy to start, though, but it’s not uncommon to see in preseason.
The second quarter fared similarly, and the Bucks even took a 28-21 lead after a Khris Middleton dunk over Butler. But the Bulls retaliated with back-to-back threes from Nikola Mirotic and E’Twaun Moore, and, come halftime, the Bulls only trailed the Bucks 40-37.
At the 9:15 mark of the third quarter, the Bulls took their first lead since the opening quarter when Moore made the first of his two free throws. The Bucks soon took the lead back, but a 24-foot three-pointer from Aaron Brooks gave them the 66-63 lead, and they never looked back.
Brooks and Mirotic were the other two double-digit scorers for Chicago with 23 and 18, respectively. The team as a whole, though, still didn’t shoot too well despite scoring 105 points. The Bulls shot 33.3 percent from the field, but also made 26 of their 38 free throw attempts — which was another way they stayed in the game while trailing.
The Bulls will continue preseason play Thursday night when they play the Denver Nuggets in Boulder, Colorado at 8 p.m. central.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.