Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Live Score and Analysis

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11:  Joakim Noah
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

Mike Dunleavy Jr. hurt his former team in a big way tonight.

Dunleavy banked in a three-pointer with five seconds remaining, and the Chicago Bulls fought back from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 91-90, on Friday night.

The Bulls had trailed for the entire second half up until the triple by Dunleavy, his only three-pointer of the night.

Joakim Noah had a monster game for Chicago, tallying 21 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and three steals to help the Bulls snap their three-game losing streak.

Jimmy Butler also played for the first time since Nov. 18, and while he struggled with his shot (4-for-12), he gutted his way to 16 points in 37 minutes.

Gary Neal led the Bucks with 17 points.

Let's analyze the keys to this game.

 

Joakim Noah Was Dominant

After being outplayed by John Henson for much of the first half, Noah came to life as the game progressed, and in the fourth quarter, he was an absolute beast.

The big man scratched and clawed in the paint for buckets at the rim, sometimes fighting off multiple defenders in getting a shot off. He also pulled down huge offensive rebounds (nine) to create second-chance opportunities for his team.

Not only that, but he tied up Neal with 16.2 seconds remaining to give Chicago the ball back and set up Dunleavy's game-winning trey.

With Milwaukee's zone defense giving the Bulls all sorts of problems late, Noah stepped up and made his imprint on the game.

 

Great Teamwork by Chicago

The Bulls assisted on 26 of their 34 field goals in this one, and while they shot only 42 percent from the floor, they made big plays when they counted.

The Bucks, on the other hand, assisted on only 18 of their 33 made shots, demonstrating the disparity in efficient ball movement between the two teams.

Kirk Hinrich, who had been struggling mightily, led Chicago with eight assists and did a fine job commanding the offense throughout.

 

Missed Opportunities by Milwaukee

Early in the fourth quarter, the Bucks went on a nice run and it looked like they had buried the Bulls for good. They were getting out in transition, drawing fouls, finishing at the basket and their zone defense had Chicago scrambling.

Well, the tables quickly turned, as the Bulls responded with a 7-0 run to put Milwaukee on its heels.

The Bucks then completely went away from the blueprint they had used to establish the lead, settling for long jumpers and dribbling out the shot clock to result in wasted possessions.

Milwaukee had a chance to put Chicago away, but it didn't capitalize. In the end, the Bucks paid the price.

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