In Game 4 of the first round of the 2022 Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Chicago Bulls dropped their second game in a row with a 119-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, April 24, at the UC.
The loss to the Bucks on Sunday has the Bulls down 3-1 in the best of seven series. Their team defense surrendered 27 points to NBA tough guy Grayson Allen in Game 4.
“You got to give [Allen] credit,” said Bulls guard Zach LaVine via ESPN. “He’s hitting shots… Obviously, we know what happened [with the Caruso injury]. At the end of the day, it’s basketball too. We understand it. But it’s not like we’re going out there saying, ‘That guy can’t beat us.’ The Milwaukee Bucks can’t beat us and he’s part of their team. [It’s] them as a whole that’s beating us right now. You can’t just account for him. It’s everybody.”
Despite a team-high 24 points and 13 assists for LaVine, Allen countered the Bulls throughout the day with long range three-point shots, mid-range floaters, and several huge baskets to help put the Bulls away.
In the first quarter, the Bucks outscored the Bulls 25-22. In the second quarter, the Bucks continued their domination over the Bulls defense building a 56-41 halftime lead. In the third quarter, the Bucks added 34 points to the Bulls 33, to make the score 90-74 after three.
To close out the game, the Bulls could not only stop Grayson Allen (who made six three-pointers in the Bucks victory), but they had no answer for All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored a game high 32 points in the win.
Final Score: Bucks 119, Bulls 95.
With that loss, the Bulls were 1-3 in the first round of the 2022 Eastern Conference Playoffs. Bulls Forward’s DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams combined for 43 points in the loss on Sunday. DeRozan finished second in team scoring with 23 points while Williams added 20.
TIP-INS: Courtesy of AP
Bucks’ Portis and LaVine had to be separated in the closing minutes after they got tangled and had a heated exchange near the Bulls’ basketball. Portis wore goggles again to protect his right eye. Portis suffered an abrasion in Game 2 when he was hit by Chicago’s Tristan Thompson as they went for a rebound. Guard George Hill (abdominal strain) missed his fifth game in a row. Guard Luca Vildoza was unavailable because of a non-COVID illness. The 26-year-old Argentinean played eight minutes in Game 3 in his NBA debut, after signing with the Bucks on April 6.
Bulls: Caruso missed Game 5 with a concussion after exiting Game 4 in the first half with a bleeding nose. In addition to Caruso missing Game 5, All-Star Zach Levine missed Game 5 due to testing positive for COVID-19 for third time this season. Chicago has lost six straight home playoff games since beating Cleveland in Game 3 of the 2015 Eastern Conference semifinals. Chicago dropped that series in six games.
In addition to losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs at home, the Bulls desperately needed a win on Wednesday, April 27, but would lose again in blowout fashion on the road 116-100, to close out the seven-game series.
The Bucks defeated the Bulls 4-1 in the best of seven series, thanks to a balanced scoring effort from their top three starters in Game 5. Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 33 points and 9 rebounds, former Bulls forward Bobby Portis added 14 points and 17 rebounds, and center Brook Lopez finished with 12 points and five rebounds in the win.
Although the Bulls were outscored in the first three quarters, they would outscore the Bucks in the fourth quarter 32-25 to close out the game. The Bulls were led by second year forward Patrick Williams, who scored a team-high 23 points in the loss.
Final Score: Bucks 116, Bulls 100.
With the loss, the Bulls were eliminated from the first round of the NBA Playoffs and finished the 2021-22 regular season with a 46-36 record in the Eastern Conference.
BULLS BIO/HISTORY FACTS:
Since 1998, the Bulls have failed to regain their former success. The franchise struggled throughout the 2000s, but showed promise in the early 2010s, led by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, culminating in back-to-back seasons above .732 in 2010–11 and 2011-12. However, due to injuries to and departures of key players, the franchise was never able to build on that success and has sunk back into mediocrity since, according to the Bulls Bio.
Jordan and Rose have both won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Bulls, for a total of six MVP awards. The Bulls share rivalries with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and the New York Knicks. The Bulls’ rivalry with the Pistons was highlighted heavily during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Outside of basketball, the Chicago Bulls are also known for their community work through their charity department which provides youth and non-for-profit organizations with tickets to games and merchandise.
Chicago Crusader Player of GM4: Bulls Zach LaVine, scored a team-high 24 points in the loss.
Chicago Crusader Player of GM5: Bulls Patrick Williams, scored a team-high 23 points in the loss.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.