Bulls

The wildest stats and broken records from the Bulls' four-overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks

The wildest stats and broken records from the Bulls' four-overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks

Well, that was something!

The Bulls and Hawks played a ridiculous game of back-and-forth basketball on Friday night in Atlanta, with the Bulls eventually prevailing 168-161 in four overtimes. No typos there, by the way.

Let's get right into the wild NBA and Bulls records that were broken in the victory.

1. 3rd highest scoring game in NBA history

Hope you didn't take the under. In the history of the NBA, only three other games have seen more points scored than tonight.

1. 1983: Detroit Pistons 186, Denver Nuggets 184 (370)
2. 1982: San Antonio Spurs 171, Milwaukee Bucks 166 (337)
3. 2019: Chicago Bulls 168, Atlanta Hawks 161 (329)

We saw a 49-point scorer in Trae Young, a 47-point scorer in Zach LaVine (both of those were career-highs) and both Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen were 30-point scorers. In all, there were a whopping 14 players in double-figures, 15 different players made a 3-pointer and incredibly Justin Anderson did not score in 5 minutes.

And despite both teams getting wildly tired down the stretch, both teams shot pretty well from the field. The Bulls finished with a .471/.438/.729 split, while the Hawks went for .500/.373/.680.

It was also only the third time in NBA history that both teams topped 160 points.

2. 15th four-overtime game in NBA history

Bulls fans are really getting spoiled with four-overtime games. Friday night marked just the 15th four-overtime game in NBA history, and yet the Bulls have played in three of them!

1. 2019: Chicago Bulls 168, Atlanta Hawks 161
2. 2015: Detroit Pistons 147, Chicago Bulls 144
3. 1984: Chicago Bulls 156, Portland Trail Blazers 155

Incredibly, the Hawks have now been involved of three of those as well, doing so in 2012 and 2017. So the Bulls and Hawks have been involved in the previous three quadruple-overtime games.

Maybe we'll see some more fireworks on Sunday afternoon when the teams play again.

3. Bulls record for most points in a single game

It's pretty ironic that the record for most points by a Bulls team in a single game will be held by a Jim Boylen group, but here we are. The 168 points obliterated the Bulls record for single-game points by 11 points. Here are the top 5.

1. 2019: 168 points (4 OT)
2. 1984: 156 points (4 OT)
3. 1979: 148 points (2 OT)
4. 1983: 147 points (2 OT)
5. 2015: 144 points (4 OT)

And the best part of that stat? The previous record holder, that 1984 Bulls team, went 0-for-0 from beyond the arc when they scored 156 points in a win over the Blazers. Oh, how the times have changed.

4. Bulls record for most 3-pointers in a single game

Of course this record was being toppled. The Bulls have opened up their offense in the last month so of course the 3-pointers were going to be flowing in a four-overtime game. The Bulls connected on 21 triples, shattering their previous record of 18 makes in a game.

1. March 1, 2019 vs. Atlanta: 21
2. Four times: 18
6. Five times: 17
11. Four times: 16

Here's how the 3-pointers broke down for the Bulls:

Otto Porter Jr: 7 of 13
Zach LaVine: 6 of 14
Lauri Markkanen: 3 of 6
Kris Dunn: 3 of 5
Ryan Arcidiacono: 2 of 3

Shaq Harrison (0-for-1), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (0-for-2) and Wayne Selden (0-for-4) failed to contribute to the cause but still have their names in the Bulls record book.

The 48 attempts from the Bulls were also a franchise record, toppling the previous mark of 41 attempts.

5. Third time the Bulls have had three 30-point scorers in a single game

This one is pretty impressive.

Zach LaVine had a career-best 47 points, while Lauri Markkanen added 31 and Otto Porter Jr. chipped in 30 points. And in the illustrious history of the Bulls, three 30-point scorers in the same game has happened just two other times.

The first came, unsurprisingly, in the last quadruple-overtime game the Bulls played in against the Pistons in 2015. Jimmy Butler (43), Derrick Rose (34) and Pau Gasol (30) all reached that mark in the 147-144 loss.

Before that it happened on December 17, 1996 against the Lakers, when Scottie Pippen (35), Toni Kukoc (31) and Michael Jordan (30) each reached that mark in an overtime win over the Lakers.

6. Amazingly, no one came close to breaking minutes records

Despite it being the 15th quadruple-overtime game in NBA history, Zach LaVine's 55 minutes and Otto Porter's and Lauri Markkanen's 53 minutes didn't come close to breaking a Bulls record. LaVine, however did enter the top-10.

1. Jimmy Butler, 2014: 60 minutes (3 OT)
2. Ron Mercer, 2001: 58 minutes (3 OT)
3. Dave Greenwood, 1984: 57 minutes (4 OT)
4. Jalen Rose, 2002: 56 minutes (2 OT)
4. Jimmy Butler. 2015: 56 minutes (4 OT)
4. Luol Deng, 2013: 56 minutes (3 OT)
4. Michael Jordan, 1992: 56 minutes (3 OT)
4. Norm Van Lier, 1974: 56 minutes (2 OT)
4. Zach LaVine, 2019: 56 minutes (4 OT)

For what it's worth, LaVine's 56 minutes are tied with Trae Young tonight for the most by any player this season and the most since Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway logged 60 and 58 minutes, respectively, for the Hawks in their four-overtime win over the New York Knicks in 2017.

Bulls Talk Podcast: How will the Bulls fill their PG need? Options in draft and free agency

bullspod.png
USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: How will the Bulls fill their PG need? Options in draft and free agency

Mark Schanowski, Mark Strotman and Kendall Gill discuss myriad topics, including where Otto Porter Jr.’s role stands heading into next season, how the Bulls may improve at the point guard position this summer and who they could potentially target in the NBA Draft.

4:15 – Analyzing where Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter can improve next season

11:40 – Potential Bulls’ free agent PG targets

16:36 – Draft analysis and Darius Garland’s and Coby White’s potential fit in Chicago

23:04 Other targets for the Bulls in the first round such as Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver

25:34 – Damian Lillard/NBA Playoffs discussion

 

 

Season in Review: Zach LaVine shows promise in Year 1 of new deal

zachlavine.png
USA TODAY

Season in Review: Zach LaVine shows promise in Year 1 of new deal

Over the next month we'll be recapping each of the Bulls' individual 2018-19 regular seasons.

Previous reviews: Lauri Markkanen | Shaq Harrison | Ryan Arcidiacono | Otto Porter  | Wayne Selden

Preseason expectations: The Bulls’ decision to immediately match the $78 miller offer sheet the Kings gave Zach LaVine was telling. Despite an ugly first season in Chicago, LaVine clearly had the trust and commitment from the Bulls front office to be the healthy player they had hoped he could become. Armed with that $78 million contract and the 47th highest annual salary, expectations were set high for the 23-year-old.

He also set them for himself, noting at Media Day that the upcoming season would be different because it was his first healthy offseason in years. That mattered, and there was optimism that LaVine could become the kind of scorer he was prior to tearing his ACL. The potential to form a 1-2 punch with Lauri Markkannen and set into motion the next chapter of the rebuild was a necessity for a Bulls team without much talent around them on the offensive end.

What went right: He proved his worth. We’ll get to some of his shortcomings later, but it’s impossible to deny that LaVine was worth every penny in Year 1 of his new contract. He was 18th in the NBA in scoring – 16 of the 17 ahead of him were All-Stars – and posted career-bests across the board. He was critical in the first six weeks of the season while the Bulls were without Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis. LaVine was the constant in the first half of the season, took on an enormous usage burden, and kept the Bulls afloat.

LaVine is never going to be a pass-first option, and the notion of him running the point at any time for the Bulls isn’t a great one, but he did distribute fairly well. Of note, his pick-and-roll game with Wendell Carter and pick-and-pop action with Lauri Markkanen were both beneficial plays. LaVine looked comfortable in that action and it will add another element to his game once the Bulls find a point guard to run the offense. Having ball handlers and initiators on the wing is a bonus, and it looks like the Bulls have a capable one in LaVine.

We’ll also add that his free throws were a nice touch. LaVine averaged 13.6 drives per game, 12th in the NBA among qualified players and fourth among non-point guards. It resulted in 3.2 free throw attempts per game, trailing only James Harden among all players with at least 13 drives per game. LaVine averaged 6.0 free throw attempts per game, a career-best, and had a knack for finding open windows that allowed him to get to the basket. He should only improve in that category as the Bulls add pieces around him to give him more space to work.

What went wrong: LaVine still hasn’t done much to improve his defense. LaVine’s DRPM was 194th among 227 guards, and if advanced numbers aren’t your thing then the eye test proved as much. He still has trouble staying with defenders away from the ball, he doesn’t provide much in the way of help defense and at times he still looks uninterested. Granted, he was asked to do so much for the Bulls offense that he’s allowed to take some plays off on the other end, but he spoke a big game about being able to improve as a defender and we didn’t really see it.

It wouldn’t be as big an issue on another team, but the Bulls are desperate for defensive help. They ranked 28th in efficiency for a second straight season, and for as much firepower as they’ve racked up on offense, the wins won’t come until the defense improves. It’s not on LaVine to be a lockdown defender, but improvements are needed.

The Stat: 19 on 51%

Call it cherry-picked but this is still excellent company that LaVine and Lauri Markkanen find themselves in. Whether you think LaVine will become a star or simply be a scoring piece to complement around other top options, his trajectory is promising. In the limited minutes he and Markkanen have played together, it’s clear the two pieces work as a 1-2 scoring punch. This, of course, allows the Bulls to focus on other areas like drafting a defender in Wendell Carter Jr. or adding shooting on the wing in Otto Porter. There are plenty of steps to take during a rebuild, but finding two guys who score efficiently night in and night out is a big piece of it.

2019-20 Expectations: What does LaVine have in store for Year 2? He proved he can be a primary scoring option – though he may cede those responsibilities to Lauri Markkanen – and was an above average distributor on the wing. He can drop 20 points in his sleep, has no problem getting to the free throw line and improved his 3-point field goal percentage. The next step is to improve on his efficiency, which should be helped out if Markkanen can take his own next step and take some of the burden off LaVine. LaVine goes from a nice scorer to an All-Star if he gets his percentages up to 48/39/85 (last year he was 46/37/83).

He'll continue to be called upon as a leader, too, as Jim Boylen gives him more responsibility in such a role. Incredibly, he’ll be entering his sixth season in the NBA this fall. He said multiple times that the Bulls need to learn how to win, and the roster will be looking to LaVine on how to get that done.