This game began in competitive fashion, which is exactly what Chicago fans needed to see. A blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets the night before was demoralizing at best, and they needed a confidence booster before heading back home to take on the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs.
The Bulls have been known all season for their defense, but it was their offense that got going early in this one. They shot 61.9 percent en route to a 31-point first quarter, and they were scoring both at the rim and out on the perimeter.
Unfortunately for Chicago, its world-class defense was allowing Utah to score points, and both teams found success in the paint throughout.
The second half began with Chicago up 58-50, but the Jazz would be the first group to establish momentum. A 9-2 Utah run cut the lead to one, and halfway through the third period, Chicago’s fast-paced offense began to play stagnant, half-court basketball.
The Bulls scored just 11 points in the entire third quarter, and the game ended up tied at 69 apiece heading into the final 12 minutes.
The fourth quarter proved to be the most competitive of the entire contest, as it came down to late-game execution and free-throw shooting. Chicago would ultimately sneak away victorious for a solid cap on a mediocre road trip.