The Chicago Bulls’ Las Vegas Summer League team managed to eke out an overtime win against the Portland Trailblazers last night, winning 80-78 to improve to 3-0 at LVSL. Marquis Teague scored 25 points, Tony Snell had 14 and Erik Murphy scored 10 in the first half before leaving with a broken nose.
The Bulls kind of self-destructed down the stretch, blowing a 12-point halftime lead and a 9-point lead at the end of the third quarter. They failed to get a couple of big defensive rebounds, which might have had something to do with the absence of Murphy and Malcolm Thomas, who started the first two LVSL games before sitting with what was termed a “lower body injury,” but was more likely just an excuse to give Thomas the day off. As a result, Snell spent the vast majority of the second half playing power forward, which he is fundamentally unsuited for, even in summer league.
Still, there were some good things happening. Andy Rautins, who hadn’t played much in the first two games, finally saw the floor and scored 10 first-half points before going cold in the second. Andrew Goudelock was cold for the entirety of regulation, but he scored all five Bulls points in overtime. Snell’s jumper wasn’t great, but he still finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Teague continues to impress in his second run at LVSL. He recorded just three assists, but there were any number of plays that should have resulted in assists but for his teammates’ collective inability to finish the shot. He was in the lane constantly, and even flashed a confident jumper, hitting all three of his three point attempts. Of course, that confidence in his jumper turned out to be misplaced on the Bulls’ final possession of regulation, when he went for a step-back jumper that was well short rather than get to the rim. But still. Baby steps.
The Bulls will next take the floor at 9 p.m. central time on Thursday in their first game of the inaugural LVSL tournament. They’ll play the winner of the New York Knicks vs. the Miami Heat. The full bracket can be found here, if you want to take a look.