Game 33: Chicago Bulls (21-12) defeat Milwaukee Bucks (14-23), 117-106
January 5, 2016
United Center – Chicago
The Bulls opened the game on a 10-0 run and ran away with an eight-point lead by the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, however, the Bucks’ Greg Monroe got off to a quick start, scoring eight-straight points to the Bulls’ two points.
With Monroe’s run, the Bulls’ lead was cut to two, 38-36, thus prompting head coach Fred Hoiberg to get some of his starters back into the game. And getting those starters back in didn’t help much — at first.
The Bucks couldn’t get ahead despite cutting the differential, but they kept the score close for a while. Once the full starting lineup of Derrick Rose — who made his return after missing three games with tendinitis in his hamstring — Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol were all back, though, the Bulls started to pull ahead again.
Come halftime, the Bulls were back up 67-61.
Mirotic hit a three to open the second half, and it propelled the Bulls into regaining a double-digit lead. All of the starters contributed in the effort to extending the Bulls’ lead, too. It wasn’t dominated by one single player.
The Bulls’ defense took a hit when some of the second unit entered the game late in the third, allowing the Bucks to get back in the game a little bit, but the starters, again, came back and held off the Bucks to win.
The Bulls now have their first five-game winning streak of the season.
Player of the Game
Butler was led all scorers with 32 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the field and was also one of three Bulls to post a double-double with his 10 assists. He also contributed two rebounds and one steal in 39 minutes.
Gasol had a very nice all-around game: He had 26 points to be the team’s second-leading scorer, grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double and added five assists, one steal and three blocks in 35 minutes.
The Bulls and Bucks made the same number of field goals at 46, but the Bulls were much more efficient with their 83 attempts compared to the Bucks’ 102 attempts. That efficiency really helped the Bulls stay ahead for the entire game, especially when their defense wasn’t up to par.
The Bulls went a perfect 20-for-20 from the free throw line Tuesday night, which, like their efficient field goal percentage did, the perfect free throw shooting made it easier for the Bulls to maintain their lead for 48 minutes.
Matchup of the Game Result
Derrick Rose versus Jabari Parker
Parker didn’t really wow the crowd Tuesday night, but he had a near double-double of 11 points and seven rebounds. He went 5-for-12 from the field only committed one turnover in 34 minutes.
Rose, on the other hand, took a few 3-pointers at the start of the game, but really got back to his aggressive game as time went on, driving to the hole and showing flashes of his MVP-self. He finished the game with 16 points on 8-of-17 shooting, one rebound and six assists in 35 minutes. Rose, however, also had a game-high five turnovers.
The Bulls continue their homestand Thursday night at 7 p.m. central when they host the Boston Celtics at the United Center.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.