The Chicago Bulls fell to yet another below-.500 team Monday night when they took the 105-96 loss to the Utah Jazz in overtime, and that’s largely thanks to Utah’s star player Gordon Hayward.
Hayward’s night didn’t start too great. He didn’t score until the 6:41 mark of the second quarter, but he eventually got going. Even when he couldn’t get his shot to fall, though, Hayward defended well and continued to do so once he found his shot.
Hayward made a crucial defensive play with about four seconds left in the fourth quarter, partially deflecting an inbounds pass intended for Jimmy Butler. Hayward got a hand on it, but Butler touched the ball last, before the ball bounced right in between the halfcourt line and sideline and headed out of bounds.
The Utah Jazz got the ball back with the game tied at 93, but Hayward couldn’t get up a good shot, forcing overtime. But it wasn’t long before that, that the Bulls had the momentum despite not having a solid lead.
Derrick Rose hit a clutch right-wing 3-pointer with 18 seconds to go in the fourth, giving the Bulls the 93-90 lead. But soon afterwards, the Bulls’ lead dwindled. Butler fouled Hayward with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Hayward, who came into Monday night’s game shooting 82.4 percent from the charity stripe, split a pair of free throws, making the first but missing the second. But the Bulls couldn’t secure the rebound, giving the Jazz a chance to tie the game at 93. And the Jazz did just that with Hayward making a game-tying layup.
The Bulls couldn’t slow down the Jazz and put a halt to their momentum in overtime, though. Had it not been for Taj Gibson‘s pair of made free throws and Butler making one of his two free throws in overtime, the Bulls would have gone scoreless in the extra period — they didn’t make any field goals, so the Jazz ended the game with a 12-3 overtime.
Neither team made such a run since the second quarter. The first quarter just featured the two teams trading baskets, and the third quarter featured a close score in which the Bulls managed to maintain their slim lead because of a lack of teams making runs.
But, in the second quarter, each team had their chance to really take control of the game. The Jazz went on a 14-0 run that was highlighted by four 3-pointers all from four different players. It gave the Jazz a 40-31 lead, but the Bulls responded well. Head coach Fred Hoiberg called a timeout in an attempt to slow the Jazz down, and it worked. The Bulls made a 10-0 run of their own to take the 41-40 lead.
The Bulls then extended that run to an 18-7 run to head into halftime with the 51-47 lead, but it slowly went downhill for the Bulls from there and eventually ended with a field goal-less overtime.
Butler led the Bulls, now 26-21, with 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists, coming just behind Hayward’s double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds. Pau Gasol added 19 points before fouling out in overtime.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.