Three things to Know: The Chicago Bulls know drama
Three Things To Know is NBC’s five-days-a-week wrap-up of the night before in the NBA. Check out NBCSports.com every weekday morning to catch up on what you missed the night before plus the rumors, drama, and dunks that make the NBA must-watch.
1) The Chicago Bulls know drama
Lately there’s been more drama in the Bulls’ wins than all of Chicago on an NBC Wednesday night.
First there was Ayo Dosunmu’s putback game-winner against the Hawks. Then it was a DeMar DeRozan jumper as time expired to get the win in Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.
Last night the Bulls were down 11 to the Bucks with 2:18 to play — only to have DeRozan make the steal and get the ball to Dosunmu for the dunk that tied the game at 106-106 and forced overtime.
(The real key to the Bulls’ comeback was a run of great defense, giving up just one bucket in the final 3:18, although it helped the Bucks missed some clean looks.)
Then in overtime, DeRozan put the Bulls ahead for good.
DeRozan finished the night with 42 points (10 in overtime) on 15-for-25 shooting, plus 10 rebounds. He also got into it with Grayson Allen, and DeRozan admitted after the game it was because of Allen’s reputation around the league for cheap plays that he had words with the Bucks sharpshooter.
From the Bucks’ perspective, the loss is easy to explain — they missed good looks. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 45 points and when the Bulls doubled him he kicked out to the open man, but the Bucks shot 9-of-44 (20.5%) from 3, missing a lot of wide-open looks. Including a few early in overtime that could have changed the outcome.
The Bulls will take the wins any way they can get them. Chicago has won 4-of-5 now, which has them just 15-19 and sitting in the final play-in spot in the East. They need a lot more wins, but could use an easy one after all the drama lately.
2) Nets extend win streak to 10 games, move into second in East
This one was pretty simple: The Hawks were without Trae Young (calf contusion), Clint Capela (calf strain) or De’Andre Hunter (sprained ankle); The Nets did have Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Irving finished with 28 points — scoring 15 in the fourth quarter — while Durant had 26 points in a game where the Hawks were feisty early but the Nets took over late.
That’s 10 wins in a row and 14-of-15 for the Nets, who moved past the Bucks and into second place in the East with this win. It’s time to start putting Jacque Vaughn in the Coach of the Year conversation for how he turned this team around.
3) Zion scores final 14 points, finishes with 43 in Pelicans win over Timberwolves
Zion Williamson is finding another level.
He took over the game’s final minutes Wednesday, scoring the Pelicans’ final 14 points on his way to 33 for the night and leading New Orleans to a 119-118 win over the Timberwolves.
That’s four straight wins for the Pelicans, four straight losses for the Timberwolves (who continue to be up and down without Karl-Anthony Towns).
If you like referee whistles this was the game for you: There were 52 fouls called in the game, including a few technicals and one Flagrant 1 (Austin Rivers earned that one when he caught Larry Nance Jr. with a hard shot to the head late in the third quarter. Nance had to leave the game and did not return due to neck spasms.