Efficient. Smooth. Merciless. These are just some of the words that describe the Bulls' performance on Wednesday night. The Bulls put on an offensive clinic at the United Center, defeating the Atlanta Hawks for the second time this week, 131-117.
Chicago shot a fantastic 62% from the field, including a phenomenal 46% (10-22) from behind the three-point line.
The Bulls' balanced attack, however, highlighted just how deep this team could be. In the absence of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, several players stepped up as seven Bulls put up double figures on the night.
Zach Lavine led Chicago, putting up 25 points on an uber-efficient 10-13 shooting. Coby White went for a double-double (17 points, 12 assists) as did Nikola Vucevic, who added 16 points along with a Bulls-career-high 20 rebounds.
Trae Young put up a double-double for the short-handed Hawks, scoring 26 points and 11 assists.
Dominating First Half
Chicago was lights out from the field in the first half, shooting a whopping 70% from the field and 60% from behind the three-point line.
Atlanta shot well from the field as well and kept pace for most of the first half, but a 16-0 run late in the second quarter really started to separate the Bulls from their opposition. LaVine was key during this stretch as he scored eight of the 16 points during the run.
Overall, the Bulls had four players in double figures at halftime, a key reason they took a 74-53 lead into the break. Those 74 points were a first-half season-high for the Bulls.
The Bulls led by as many as 27 points in the third quarter, but Trae Young made things slightly interesting. Atlanta's franchise player scored 10 of his 26 points in the quarter and helped the Hawks cut the lead to 15 points.
But the Bulls' lead was just too much for Atlanta to overcome. Chicago continued to keep the Hawks at more than an arm's length as solid defense and a balanced attack continued to propel the Bulls forward.
The Bulls stole the ball nine teams, including three each from Troy Brown Jr. and Nikola Vucevic, and finished with a season-high 38 assists as a team. LaVine, White, and Vucevic were joined by DeMar DeRozan, Javonte Green, Ayo Dosunmu, and Tyler Cook as double-figure scorers.
What's On Tap Next?
The Bulls end the 2021 portion of their schedule on New Year's Eve in Indiana as they look to beat the Pacers for the second time in less than a week. A victory would extend the Bulls' current winning streak to six games, which would be their first of that length since December 2017 (seven games).
Be sure to check out the Bulls On Tap podcast for further postgame reaction as well as Chicago basketball analysis and commentary all season.