Tuesday night featured two injury plagued-NBA teams face off in a division match-up: the Chicago Bulls versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee got the better end of the competition, as the Bulls fell 78-74.
Aside from the obvious Derrick Rose injury, Jimmy Butler (turf toe), Luol Deng (sore Achilles) and Joakim Noah (thigh contusion) made up Chicago’s injured list.
At the start of the game, it looked dismal for the Bulls. There wasn’t much of an offensive flow, and shots weren’t falling often. As a result, Chicago had 14 points in the first quarter, half of them coming from rookie Tony Snell. Fortunately, Milwaukee was struggling as well, as they only outscored the Bulls by six.
With Mike Dunleavy leading the way, Chicago was able to turn it around. Dunleavy had a good rhythm going, and the Bulls took advantage of that. He went seven-of-10 from the field to score 18 points in the second quarter. A 9-0 run led by the former Duke Blue Devil allowed the Bulls to gain a nine-point lead. Although it didn’t remain a nine-point lead, it was large enough for them to still hold a 42-35 lead over the Bucks heading into halftime.
However, the Bulls were unable to carry on their momentum into the second half. Chicago took an 11-point lead a few minutes into the third quarter, but turnovers got the best of them. Milwaukee took advantage of these, and with a run to end the period, the Bucks brought themselves within two points of the Bulls.
Milwaukee was able to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls stayed in the game. Within the final two minutes, Dunleavy hit a three from the top of the key to cut the deficit to one point, 73-72. Then, John Henson hit a tough three to answer, and the Bucks took an even bigger lead. Chicago had one more chance to claim the lead, but it wasn’t going to happen. Hinrich drove along the baseline and passed the rock to Boozer for a layup, but he was unable to finish, leaving them with another loss.
Dunleavy’s 24 points led the way in the loss. Boozer added a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulls are now 8-11. They will complete their back-to-back series Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks at 7 p.m. central.