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On Sunday, the Chicago Bulls took the court following consecutive days off for just the second time this season. But they weren’t able to come away with a win in their return to action this time, dropping their second consecutive game with a 126-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Here’s what stood out.

Center of Attention

What makes Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ two-time reigning MVP, so great is the myriad ways he can exploit defenses with the ball in his hands.

Send help, and the Association’s fourth-leading assist-getter will hit the open man. Leave a defender to his own devices, and Jokic will likely barrel into the paint for a score.

Though he took — and made — just four shots, Jokic controlled the action every second of the 27 minutes he was on the court Sunday. He handed out 14 assists, grabbed six rebounds, and scored eight points en route to a game-high +29 plus-minus.

About the only time the Bulls made things interesting was during a near-six-minute stretch that spanned the first and second quarters when Jokic was on the bench.

During that time, a lineup consisting of Goran Dragic, Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr., and Andre Drummond trimmed a 29-15 deficit to 34-28 when Jokic checked back in at the 8:20 of the second quarter.

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The Bulls actually crept to within four points, 34-30, when DeMar DeRozan hit Drummond for a baseline reverse layup (more on that later). But they wouldn’t get any closer than that the rest of the game, falling behind by double digits from halftime on.

“It’s unacceptable,” LaVine said after the game, which was the Bulls’ first action in three days. “You can’t have a performance like that.”

LaVine (21) was one of five Bulls — DeRozan (16), Patrick Williams (15), Drummond (13), and Dragic (11) were the others — to reach double figures.

The Bulls shot 49.4% from the field but made just six of their 22 three-point attempts (27.3%). The Nuggets, meanwhile, connected on 60% of their field goals (48/80) and 48.1% of their threes (13/27).

Welcome to the Club, Andre

One of the lone bright spots for the Bulls came in the second quarter when Andre Drummond scored his 10,000th-career point on a reverse layup.

The 10-year vet finished with a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double in his second game back from the shoulder strain he suffered on Oct. 28.

What’s On Tap Next?

The Chicago Bulls (6-8) will try to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season when they face New Orleans on Wednesday. The Pelicans (7-6) defeated the Bulls 115-111 on Nov. 9 behind 16 fourth-quarter points from Brandon Ingram. Tip-off is at 7:00 PM CT and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.

Tune in to the Bulls On Tap podcast for postgame reaction and further Bulls commentary all season.