Although the score seems rather close, it was not a close game at all. The Pelicans outplayed the Bulls the entire game, leading 103-81 at the end of the third quarter. As the teams brought their reserves in to finish out what was already thought to be a blow out, Chicago’s bench started rallying and brought the game to within six. Even though it still ended up being a loss, it is nice to see the perseverance in the Bulls bench players.
All-Star Brandon Ingram left the game with 15 points after suffering an apparent ankle injury in the second quarter of the game. Even though their best player went down, the team did not let that hold them back from getting the job done. J.J. Redick was the hot spark for the Pelicans, dropping 18 points on 50% shooting. This, along with the dominant performance from Zion Williamson producing 21 points, brought the Pelicans the much needed win over the Bulls. An insane putback dunk from rookie Jaxson Hayes and a booming alley-oop from Lonzo Ball to Zion in the fourth brought cheers from the home crowd and added insult to injury.
Zach Lavine led the way for Chicago with 22 points, along with rookie Coby White’s 14 point, 9 assist and 6 rebound game coming off the bench. Chandler Hutchinson also had a strong performance, and managed to hold his own while taking over the starting position for injured Kris Dunn. He put up 16 points on 43% shooting, and also pulled down 8 boards. However, the star of the night was rookie Adam Mokoka, who scored a perfect 15 points off the bench in just 5 minutes to woo the game back into striking distance. After the game, star player Lavine had this to say about the late game comeback:
“…(The) game was over by then in my book, I don’t know what we were cheering for…”.
It is clear that the Bulls’ leader was not satisfied with the team’s performance, and made it evident that he is not satisfied with anything other than a win.