Game 23: Chicago Bulls (15-8) defeat Memphis Grizzlies (14-13), 98-85
December 16, 2015
United Center – Chicago
The Bulls got off to a quick start thanks to Derrick Rose‘s aggression, but it was still a close game. Chicago’s bench played a large factor in getting a nine-point lead in the second quarter, though; however, the Bulls faced a drought once the starters returned to the lineup, and the Grizzlies headed into halftime with a 53-50 lead.
In the third quarter, the Bulls stepped it up on both sides of the court. Rose continued to play aggressively while the Bulls played well defensively, forcing the Grizzlies into committing several turnovers. Chicago would then build up a double-digit lead and easily finish out the night with a win.
Player of the Game
McDermott may not have been the game’s leading scorer — let alone the Bulls’ leading scorer, but his 17 points in 23 minutes off the bench was still a rather impressive performance. The second-year forward out of Creighton led the bench with 6-for-12 from the field (4-8 3PT, 1-1 FT), an assist and a block. His 17 points was also one point off of matching his career-high of 18 points.
Derrick Rose looked like the old Derrick Rose who frequently drove the the basketball, attacking the paint and taking advantage of opponents with his speed. He finished the night as the team’s second leading scorer with 19 points on 9-of-19 shooting to go along with two rebounds, five assists and one steal.
One of the biggest advantages the Bulls had in their win over the Grizzlies was point in the paint. The Bulls had a 10-point advantage, showing their willingness to get easy, high percentage shots as opposed to settling for jumpers and forcing bad shots.
The Bulls allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 28 free throws, but the Grizzlies only connected on 16 of them. Had Memphis taken advantage of those free shots, it would have been a much closer game. The Grizzlies really could have used those points as well considering they scored a mere 32 points in the second half.
Matchup of the Game Result
Pau Gasol versus Marc Gasol
Neither Gasol brother had a spectacular game. Both of them had good, productive performances, but Pau came out on top in the end — not necessarily just because his team won, but because he had a quiet double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds. Marc finished the night with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Bulls take on a fellow Central Division team, the Detroit Pistons, at 7 p.m. Friday night at the United Center.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.