Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Bulls Collapse, Lose To Trail Blazers In Wild Finish

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The Chicago Bulls left a bad taste in their mouths after their road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, after leading by as much as 20 points during the game.



The Bulls were all gas, no brakes for the first half, putting up 63 points to the Blazers’ 48. LaVine and DeRozan both slipped into double figures in the first half, while keeping Josif Nurkic as the only player that could say the same.

Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum made just one shot each in the first half.

it didn’t take long for the Blazers to make their comeback, winning the third quarter 33-22 and narrowing the Bulls’ lead to four points.

The Bulls Fourth Quarter Escapades

This season, the Bulls have notoriety as one of the best fourth-quarter teams in the NBA. This is something that Billy Donovan noted as “scary” at some points because it takes the team a long time to get into the game.

Nevertheless, the statistics do the talking for the Bulls. They have the third-best offense in the league in the fourth quarter — averaging 27.6 points in the fourth quarter. They rank second behind Utah in the fourth-quarter margin with a value of +2.4 points.

Equally, the Bulls play outstanding defense in the fourth quarter as well. They allow the ninth least amount of points to their opponents in the fourth quarter with 25.2 points allowed.

To top it all off, the Bulls have two of the best clutch players in the league — DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. The two tied for sixth in the league last season for points scored in the clutch. They also shot extremely well from the field in that vacuum.

It’s safe to say the Bulls’ hustle and mentality in the fourth quarter gets the job done. Their fourth-quarter dominance is one of many reasons they have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Ironic Demise

While the Bulls are renowned for their late-game performances, they let up the four-point lead they had going into the fourth quarter to lose 107-112 to the Blazers.

As a team, the Bulls shot 6 of 22 from the field in the fourth quarter and 2 of 6 from beyond the arc. The Blazers shot 10 of 23 from the field and 4 of 10 from three-point land.

The Blazers won off the glass, shooting from the free-throw line, and came up with the same number of assists as the Bulls.

Lillard led the way with 11 points on 3 of 6 shooting and McCollum followed up with seven points on 3 of 7 shooting.

DeRozan and LaVine combined for an uncharacteristic 3 of 15 shooting from the field for 13 combined points. DeRozan failed to make a single basket in the fourth quarter but went 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.

The elephant in the room pertains to LaVine’s wide-open look for three from an after timeout play that would have tied the game with seconds to go.

“I’m surprised I missed, you know. It sucks,” Lavine said after the game.

Bulls fans were surprised too, considering he shot 7 of 12 from distance by the end of the game, which many of those makes were off-balance and heavily contested shots.

Onto the Next

The Bulls ironically made the fourth quarter their worst one against the Blazers after leading the game by 20 points at one point.

The team certainly got a taste of its own medicine, but there’s always something to learn from in these types of games.

The team trademarked themselves for “finding ways to win” together this season. That’s what they’ll have to do Friday when the Bulls play the Denver Nuggets in the last of their five-game road trip.



Ryan Taylor
Ryan is pursuing an undergraduate in journalism and a graduate degree in digital communication from DePaul University. He has been with Sports Mockery since 2021. He primarily covers the Chicago Bulls.

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