Bulls blow a 21-point lead with a complete meltdown against the Pacers

The Bulls are a hard team to explain.

Just when it felt as though they had learned their lesson and were starting to turn things around, they played a game like they did Tuesday.

Another gut punch, another horrible loss.

After building a 21-point lead in the first half and looking like a team on its way to a season-high four-game winning streak, the Bulls melted down in the second half and lost to the undermanned Pacers 116-110.

All of this despite coach Billy Donovan warning his players at the half that the Pacers weren’t going to go away.

‘‘What we talked about at halftime was this team has come back,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘We’ve got to be able to compete better. It started right in the third quarter. We didn’t do enough things in terms of taking care of the basketball, rebounding the basketball. As the intensity level got raised, we were not able to respond and play to that level.’’

And while there was plenty of blame to go around, the finger-pointing starts and ends with the “Big Three.’’

The Bulls’ bench was fine. Derrick Jones Jr., Andre Drummond, Coby White and Alex Caruso each had moments.

Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu did what was asked of them, with both continuing to work through their growing pains and figuring out their roles.

But as go DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, so go the Bulls. It was that way when the Bulls were 11-18 in mid-December, and it was no coincidence that the three seemingly had figured out how best to play with one another while the Bulls went 11-6 during a 17-game run before facing the Pacers.

‘‘I think for us, just coming in, getting used to the new offense, understanding where each one of our shots is going to come from and getting in a groove,’’ …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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