The Chicago Bulls just can’t seem to figure out the fourth quarter. After bringing a four-point lead into the final frame, the Grizzlies outscored the Bulls by 15 points, beating the Bulls 101-90 in Memphis on Monday.
It was the Bulls’ third straight loss, marking their fifth losing streak of at least three games so far this season.
Jonas Valanciunas led the way for Memphis with a monster double-double performance of 26 points and 14 rebounds. It was the Lithuanian’s 15th straight double-double, setting a Grizzlies franchise record.
Ja Morant quietly put up double-double numbers of his own, scoring just 13 points but providing ten assists.
Zach LaVine led the way for the Bulls with 21 points but was inefficient, shooting 5-14 from the field and just 2-8 from behind the arc. Thaddeus Young had 20 points while Nikola Vucevic put up another double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds.
The Bulls shot just 42% from the field as a team, including a 16% (5-31) mark from beyond the arc. But the game remained relatively close throughout the first three quarters. Both teams struggled mightily on the offensive end; the Bulls with their shooting woes and the Grizzlies with 12 turnovers in the first half.
Vucevic was the only efficient scorer for the Bulls (10-15 FG) and did a good job of keeping Chicago in it throughout. The former Magic center put together a solid third quarter, scoring 12 points with a couple of three-pointers, helping the Bulls to a lead entering the fourth quarter.
But an all too familiar theme reared its ugly head once again as the Bulls were unable to hang on to a fourth-quarter lead. It was Valanciunas who led the way, scoring ten of his 26 points that were part of an 18-6 run that broke open the game.
The Bulls could never get going offensively as they only scored 90 points, tied for their lowest offensive output of the season. The team that just a few weeks ago seemed very excited by the pair of deals made at the trade deadline is now scuffling and in danger of losing out on not only a playoff berth, but a play-in spot.