On Monday afternoon, the Chicago Bulls were the most short-handed they have been for a game this season. And it showed.
The Bulls had plenty of excuses to point to after this loss. Key players were missing and only 10 players dressed. It was also the Bulls' fifth game in seven days.
Despite all of those factors, Billy Donovan will surely be upset with his team's performance on Monday afternoon. The Bulls made several costly mistakes throughout the game and turned the ball over 17 times.
The Grizzlies also did well on the offensive glass, especially during the first half. Steven Adams himself had four of the Grizzlies' 10 offensive boards.
All in all, Desmond Bane and Ja Morant led the way for the Grizzlies, scoring 25 points apiece.
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, leading the way for the Bulls.
Pair of Runs Help Memphis Pull Away
The first quarter was a gritty affair as both teams only scored 20 points apiece. The Bulls did a good job holding the Grizzlies to just 33% field-goal shooting and a 0-7 clip from behind the three-point line.
The Bulls did not shoot that much better (42%) from the field. Turnovers also plagued Chicago throughout, especially early on (eight turnovers in the first quarter).
But the second quarter was a different story. While the Bulls continued to struggle, Memphis woke up. The Grizzlies went on a 16-0 run at the beginning of the second quarter, helped by seven made three-pointers in the second quarter alone and Bane's 15 second-quarter points.
The Grizzlies finished shooting 10-25 from the three-point line despite that 0-7 effort in the first quarter.
Similar to the second quarter, the Grizzlies pulled away in the third quarter after the Bulls continued to hang around. Memphis outscored Chicago 23-9 in the final 6:40 of the third, which cemented the Bulls' fourth loss in as many games.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Bulls (27-15) will head back home to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (26-18) at the United Center on Wednesday evening. Tip-off is at 7 PM CST and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.
Be sure to check out the Bulls On Tap podcast for further postgame reaction as well as Chicago basketball analysis and commentary all season.