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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Chicago Bulls lose again at home – and are now 3-1 down in their playoff series to Milwaukee Bucks: ‘I’m not particularly ready to go home’

202204241716Tms Mngtrpub Sports Chicago Bulls Lose At Home Again 2 Tb5

The Chicago Bulls raised some hope in Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks. This was at least an improvement for United Center fans after the Game 3 loss.

The offense hit the Bucks in the first half, avoiding an opening hole. Patrick Williams eventually delivered on his youthful promise, scoring 20 points in his best performance of the playoffs. The Bulls scored more transition points in the first half (6) than in any game in the series so far.

But that was not all that mattered when Giannis Antetokounmpo woke up. The Bucks star opened the Bulls’ defense, and scored a series-high 32 points. Antetokounmpo cut the bulls at both ends of the court to win 119–95.

The Bulls are now 3-1 behind the Bucks in the series. After losing back-to-back blowouts on their home court, the Bulls face elimination as they struggle to return the confidence given to them by their Game 2 victory.

“You have to give them credit – they’ve been through it,” further said DeMar DeRozan. “They’ve won a series without Giannis before. They’re a championship team for a reason. … We’ve got a taste of what it’s like when such a great team reacts.”

The game changed for the Bulls when Alex Caruso inadvertently hit Jevon Carter in the face in the second quarter. Although it took Caruso several minutes to clear the blood from his nose after the collision, he looked ready to play when he returned in the final minutes of the quarter. But after half time the guard spent the rest of the game in the locker room.

The injury took the Bulls’ best defender off the court for the second half of the game – and potentially longer in the series if Caruso remains under concussion protocol. After the game, coach Billy Donovan said Bulls medical staff was still determining whether Caruso suffered an injury. The result of that evaluation will determine its availability going forward.

“Once they started seeing him, I think there was enough concern that he might have been hurt,” Donovan said.

Rookie Ayo Dosunmu took a heavy turn in Caruso’s absence. Dosunmu dipped back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter, igniting the crowd at the United center as the Bulls scored 17-3 to pull within eight points. But the Bucks absorbed the run with ease, responding with seven unanswered points of their own to reclaim a two-point advantage.

Dosunmu wasn’t the only young Bull to make the move in Game 4. Williams eventually broke the shooting drought of 12 consecutive misses—which stretched back to Game 2—with a 3-pointer in the second quarter. Although Williams still struggled with Antetokounmpo’s oversized matchup, his superior aggression helped lift the Bulls into their third quarter run.

The Bulls started aggressively in the first half but could not pick up the pace. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points but couldn’t deliver any magic in the fourth quarter. Zach LaVine cooled off after a 12-point first quarter, but still finished with a team-high 24 points. After scoring 11 runs in the first half, Nikola Vusevic did not score a single goal in the second half.

“He gave us a different look,” Lavin said. “One man is not going to defeat them. They were crowding in paint and once I broke through the first line of defense, they were sending people down the street and not letting me and Demar try to hit them. ,

The starters got no help from their bench. Derrick Jones Jr. was the only bench player to score in the first half. The entire bench scored only 17 points while the Bucks bench scored 39 points to support their start.

The Bucks bench unit was led by Grayson Allen, who continued to feed the jerseys thrown at him by Bulls fans at United Center, scoring 27 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the back of the arc. Each of Allen’s 3-pointers dealt a demoralizing blow to the Bulls, reducing runs and causing a break at the end of the quarter.

Game 5 will take place on Wednesday at the Fisher Forum. This will be the first elimination game of the series, which will add to the pressure when the Bulls return to Milwaukee.

“I’m not particularly ready to go home,” Lavin said. “I hope everyone isn’t.”

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