NBA: San Antonio’s strong 3rd quarter dooms LaVine, Bulls

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 29 2022 02:06 PM

Bulls guard Zach LaVine drives to the basket in the Chicago-San Antonio game on January 28, 2022 Scott Wachter, USA Today Sports/Reuters
Bulls guard Zach LaVine drives to the basket in the Chicago-San Antonio game on January 28, 2022 Scott Wachter, USA Today Sports/Reuters

Dejounte Murray scored 29 points and dished out 12 assists as the San Antonio Spurs took charge in the 3rd quarter and held on to beat the visiting Chicago Bulls 131-122 on Friday.

The Spurs led by 7 points after a spirited late-3rd quarter run and expanded their advantage to 120-110 after a Derrick White layup with 3:32 to play. Chicago never got closer than 4 points the rest of the way.

San Antonio was able to get the shots it wanted down the stretch while getting big baskets from Murray and Jakob Poeltl.

Keldon Johnson added 23 points for San Antonio while Poeltl amassed 21 points and 11 rebounds, Derrick White scored 14 points, and Doug McDermott, Devin Vassell and Lonnie Walker IV tallied 11 points each in the win.

Former Spur DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points for the Bulls in his first return to the Alamo City after signing with Chicago in the offseason. 

Zach LaVine added 30 points, with Coby White and Nikola Vucevic hitting for 18 each, and Ayo Dosunmu contributing 10 for the Bulls in the loss.

The game went back and forth in the 1st quarter with 7 lead changes, the last setting the table for a 10-0 Bulls run that gave them a 27-18 advantage at the 4:01 mark of the period. Coby White's 3rd 3-pointer of the quarter with 21.2 seconds to play gave Chicago a 35-29 lead after 12 minutes of play.

The Bulls built their advantage to 10 points early in the 2nd period before San Antonio responded with a 17-6 run. Murray scored the final 6 points in the spurt to put the Spurs up 46-45, with 6:34 to play in the quarter. But their lead was short-lived, with Chicago sweeping back to a 68-63 advantage at the break as DeRozan scored 9 points over the final 4:54 of the half.

DeRozan led all scorers with 17 points in the first half with Coby White adding 15 and Vucevic hitting for 10 for the Bulls. Chicago outshot the Spurs 63.6 percent to 51 percent in the first half, while the rest of the stats were very even.

Johnson paced the Spurs with 12 points while McDermott scored 11 and Murray had 10 points and 8 assists over the first 2 quarters.