The Chicago Bulls visited the red-hot Denver Nuggets Thursday night, and simply put, things didn’t go their way.
Entering the game, the Nuggets were the ones with momentum. They had won seven straight, including 13 of their last 15, and that momentum showed as they took down the Bulls, 128-96.
Chicago has won all year with its defense, but Denver’s offense proved to be the better of the two units on this night. The home team shot nearly 67 percent in the first 12 minutes, and they capitalized on nearly every mistake the Bulls made.
Chicago had trouble controlling the ball from start to finish, but the bigger issue was that it couldn’t get back on defense to make up for its mistakes. The theme of the game was hustle points, and that category belonged to Denver in landslide fashion.
The Bulls allowed a season-high 63 first-half points, and a big reason for that was the play of Kenneth Faried. He had 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting to go along with eight rebounds by halftime, and all that momentum carried forward into the third quarter.
The second half proved to be even rougher for the Bulls. They were outscored 37-16 in the third, and they found themselves down 100-74 heading into the game's final period.
Too many giveaways and not enough defensive pressure made it impossible for the Bulls to come back. They’ve played well without Derrick Rose all season, but it’s performances like this one that make you realize just how much he’ll mean to them when he’s laced up and finally ready to go.