The Chicago Bulls can’t string two wins together.
After a Comeback win over the Miami Heat On Saturday, they lost the second game of the back-to-back series on Monday night, 118-100. The Bulls are 5-10 and have yet to record consecutive wins as they prepare to begin a four-game trip starting Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
Here are five takeaways from Monday’s game.
1. Not a fast start, but not an overly slow one either.
It took less than three minutes for the Bulls to fall behind by 10 points, forcing coach Billy Donovan to call a timeout after 2 minutes, 29 seconds.
This is a common theme for the Bulls, one of the worst first quarter teams in the league. After the Heat led 22-1 on Saturday, the Bulls were determined to start faster on Monday. Although the deficit wasn’t as dramatic, the Bulls still suffered from a slow start that they couldn’t overcome.
The Bulls never led and got within four points in the third quarter before the Heat stepped on the gas.
2. Poor shooting in the fourth quarter ruined an otherwise accurate evening.
The Bulls were 11 for 26 (42.3%) from behind the 3-point arc through three quarters, allowing them to keep pace even after trailing by double digits.
Coby White went 3-for-5 in the first half and Zach LaVine went 2-for-4 in the third quarter to help the Bulls counter Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson, who scored in nine attempts Made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points.
But the Bulls cooled down completely in the fourth quarter. They went 0-for-9 in 3 seconds in the quarter, a factor that allowed the Heat — who finished 17-for-35 from behind the arc — to pull away.
3. Coby White led the Bulls with a season-high performance.
As the Bulls struggled to reach triple figures on another stagnant offensive night, White provided a rare spark. He scored a season-high 20 points, including 4-for-8 3-point shooting, and had three assists.
This wasn’t the best shooting season for White, who shot 38% from the field and 30.9% from 3-point range in 14 games – both well below his career rates. White has gotten used to it his new role as starting point guardwhich doubled his assist average (4.1 per game).
4. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan opted for assists to adjust for the Heat defense.
Monday continued a trend for LaVine, who took just four shots in the first half and nine in the game. He finished with 13 points for the second straight game as the Heat used a series of traps and double teams to keep the ball out of the guard’s hands.
DeRozan faced a similar defensive challenge, scoring 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting. LaVine and DeRozan each recorded five assists, reflecting their intent to take advantage of what the defense gave them and pass the ball to their teammates.
“That was obviously the strategy to get the ball out of our hands,” LaVine said. “I didn’t feel like forcing it. It didn’t seem like we had to force it to get some good shots. It’s just hard.”
5. Another bad night for the Bulls bench.
The Bulls bench provided the turning point in Saturday’s comeback win, but couldn’t produce the same results on Monday. The reserve team combined for 21 points, six of them in the final 2:28.
Patrick Williams performed efficiently in the second quarter after not playing in the first, scoring seven points in under eight minutes. But he couldn’t maintain this performance and finished the race with nine points. The rest of the bench only scored six points by the end of the season.