Bulls win preseason finale 105-103, in comeback victory over Oklahoma City

BULLS GUARD ZACH LAVINE dunks the ball in a pass match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Photo credit NBA.com)

By Joseph Phillips, Crusader Sports Editor

The Chicago Bulls overcame a 22-point deficit in the third quarter to prevail 105-103, over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, December 18, on the road.

Although the Bulls starters struggled mightily throughout the game, the Bulls bench played very well and closed out the game in the fourth quarter.

“As a coach, it’s hard to control the ball going in and out of the basket, and it’s hard as a player to control that [too],” said coach Billy Donovan. “The challenge for us is the consistency part. And we just were not consistent tonight to how we need to play on both ends of the floor.”

Despite inconsistencies in the Bulls starting lineup, G-League call up and reserve standout Simi Shittu was the bright spot throughout the game.

The G-League stand out exploded for 13 fourth-quarter points and led the team to their 3rd preseason win of the season. Thanks to the superb play of Shittu, the Bulls outscored the Thunder 34-13 to close out the fourth quarter.

The team also received scoring contributions from forward Lauri Markkanen and guard Zach LaVine.

Markkanen had his best game of the preseason on Friday night, scoring 22 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. LaVine, who was consistent for a fourth game in a row, added 20.

The two players combined for 42 points.

Final Score: Bulls 105, Thunder 103

With the victory, the Bulls finished preseason play with a 3-1 record. Their next game is against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, December 23. Game time is 7 p.m. at the United Center.

Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:

Simi Shittu, Bulls, was the bright spot throughout the game. Scored an amazing 13 fourth-quarter points in the Bulls comeback.

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls, scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.

Zach LaVine, Bulls, finished second in team scoring with 20 points.

Joseph R. Phillips is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 15 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q & A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at sports@chicagocrusader.com.

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