Bulls blown out by Cavaliers
David Richard - USA Today Sports

Bulls blown out by Cavaliers

by - Senior Writer -

CLEVELAND - Every year, there are some teams that you don't match up well against, and the Cleveland Cavaliers (23-15) are that team for the Chicago Bulls (19-23). Looking to continue pushing toward the .500 mark at Rocket Mortgage Arena on Monday, the Bulls reverted back to their old habits that saw this team start the season 5-14.

Any time you face a team like the Cavs and all the size that they possess, it is tough to match up with them. It's extremely tough for the Bulls as Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond are the only players above 6-9 on this roster. To make matters worse, Patrick Williams was out with an ankle injury, forcing the Bulls to play with four guards and no depth off the bench. The result wasn't what this team hoped for, as the Cavs took care of business 109-91.

Slow starts are something the Bulls are all too familiar with, and the Bulls certainly got off to a slow start in this one as their defense allowed the Cavs to put up 40 points while only coming away with 21 themselves. Zach Lavine came out the gates strong with seven first-quarter points, but with only 17 points in the game, you can get a sense of how things went.

In fact, Chicago didn't have a single player drop 20 points in the contest, as Coby White led the way with 18 points. He especially played a crucial role in the second and third quarters as the Bulls outscored the Cavs by 16 over those quarters, including a 35-20 third quarter that saw Chicago pull within three before falling apart late.

One thing fans did see from White tonight was a bit more frustration than in the past, as he doesn't like this team's direction right now. This group doesn't work together, and since LaVine has returned to the starting lineup, the Bulls seem lost offensively, which shouldn't surprise anyone.

The good news is that Nikola Vucevic continues to play some of his best basketball of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time. With several pieces expected to be on the move once the deadline passes, Vucevic will be taking on an even more prominent role soon, and with 17 points and 10 boards, he proved he can handle that role. Chicago also picked up 10 points from Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu, but with Demar DeRozan only having six, you could see the offensive struggles in the game.

A big reason why the Cavaliers have turned into one of the better teams in the East is not only that they have the fourth-best defense in the league but also that they have a game-changer scorer in Donovan Mitchell, who went off against the Bulls. Mitchell was strong early, going 11-21 from the field and knocking down four triples as he led all scorers with 34 points. He also dished out seven assists as the offense continued to run through him.

With Mitchell having the night he had, it shouldn't shock anyone to know he was the only player with more than 20 points in the game, but he had so many other players involved that it made the Cavs offense that much better. Caris LeVert came through with 16 points and seven boards off the bench, with Sam Merrill adding 15.

Their efforts alone were pivotal as the Cavaliers starting five wasn't all that productive apart from Mitchell. Jarrett Allen had a massive 10-point, 17-rebound double-double, but like the Bulls, only one player had more than 17 points, with Dean Wade rounding out the scoring with 12 points.

Chicago will be given an extra day off before returning to the floor Thursday to take on the Toronto Raptors. Already missing Torrey Craig, Lonzo Ball, and Williams, the Bulls may be without Dosunmu for that game as the already shrinking rotation may take another hit.


It's no secret that wins have been hard to come by for the Windy City Bulls (2-6), so any win at this point is a good thing. After dropping a 12-point contest to the Delaware Blue Coats (5-3) on Saturday, Windy City had a chance at redemption in an afternoon tussle on Martin Luther King Jr day.

Even with the Bulls playing one of their best first halves in a long time, it still wasn't enough, as a dreadful third quarter saw the Bulls in a six-point hole heading to the fourth. That is when the Bulls turned up the pressure defensively and held the Blue Coats to their lowest point total of the game while the offense rallied back to tie things up 108-108.

Kifer Sykes had a chance to win things in regulation only to see his three-pointer clank off the front rim as it was going to take overtime to solve this one. Clinging to a one-point lead, Adama Sanogo was fouled and was sent to the line to finish things off. With a target score of 115, Sanogo was one free throw away from icing things, and that he did as Windy City picked up their second win of the regular season, 115-113 in overtime.

Sanogo was a man on a mission in this one, as this season has been nothing short of a success. With a game-high 32 points and 17 boards, Sanogo latched another double-double in what has been a theme all season for him. He wasn't alone in having a great game, as all five starters had double-figure games and combined for 104 of the 115 points.

Sykes dropped a near triple-double with 22 points, nine boards, and eight assists as he has taken over the starting PG spot. Fellow rookie Julian Phillips continues to show a more aggressive nature in the G-League and, with 19 points on 7-11 shooting, did so very efficiently. Onurlap Bitim (14 points), Henry Drell (12 points), and 12 boards rounded out what was an outstanding performance from Windy City.

As expected, the Blue Coats offense went as far as Ricky Council could take them, and for the second straight game, he took them far. Council led the way with 22 points for the Blue Coats starters, but Terquavion Smith stepped up off the bench to provide the Blue Coats with a massive lift. With Council being the lone starter with 15 or more points, Smith was nearly the hero for Delaware as he dropped a team-high 29 off the bench with nine assists.

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