The Chicago Bulls sure know how to make things interesting, don’t they?
Chicago hosted the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night in what would prove to be their third overtime game in three contests. Memphis won a gritty, low-scoring game the first time around, and that same theme held true again, as Chicago fell 85-82.
Coming into the game, the Bulls had momentum following back-to-back overtime wins. They began the contest with all sorts of energy, and it was their ability to attack the rim and score down low that gave them a 22-18 lead by the end of the first.
Both of these teams are known for their defense, and both defenses had a field day with sloppy offenses in the first half. The Grizzlies were the ones turning the ball over in the opening period, but the script was quickly flipped when Chicago began playing completely out of control.
At one point, Memphis went on a 13-0 run in the second quarter, largely because of Chicago’s six turnovers in the period. The Grizzlies took full advantage, and they led 44-34 heading into halftime.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the second half began similarly to how the first ended. The Bulls were playing carelessly on offense, and when it came down to it, they simply couldn’t put the ball in the basket.
By the five-minute mark of the third quarter, Chicago had scored just two points in the period. That’s a combined 14 points in a quarter-and-a-half, and when you’re struggling on both offense and defense, that’s a recipe for disaster against one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
The Bulls entered the fourth quarter down 60-47, but they quickly got the lead down to single digits. They were turning defense into offense for the first time in what seemed like forever, and they even snatched the lead with about three minutes to go.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, it proved to be too little, too late. The game would ultimately go to overtime, but fatigue seemed to be a factor with each passing minute. They finished the game shooting just 36.5 percent from the field, and Memphis took home its 26th win of the 2012-13 season.