The Bulls struggle with several opponents to close out the month of January

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Chicago Bulls Zach LaVine dribbles the ball in the Bulls 129-102 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, February 2. (Photo by nba.com)

By Joseph Phillips
Sportswriter

The Chicago Bulls are currently on a three game losing streak and have lost 3 of their last 4 games to close out the month of January.

After earning a win against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, January 27, the Bulls suffered three straight losses to the Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, and the Toronto Raptors from January 29 through Sunday, February 2.

In game one, the Bulls defeated the San Antonio Spurs 110-109 on the night they honored Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant passing at the UC.

Guard Zach LaVine drained two clutch free throws down the stretch to close out the game and was very eerily similar to his idol Bryant in the clutch.

“Kobe had a big impact on a whole generation of kids,” said LaVine about Bryant’s impact on his life. “In our generation he was our Michael Jordan.”

LaVine said Bryant was one of his idols growing up as a child and wore the number 8 (until this day) because of him.

LaVine also completed his Bryant like performance with 23 points, 3 three-pointers, on 6 of 6 shooting from the line.

Final Score: Bulls 110, Spurs 109.

Following their win against the Spurs, the Bulls suffered three straight road losses to the Pacers, Nets and the Raptors to close out the month of January (and to start the month of February).

The Bulls started their road trip in the state of Indiana with a 115-106 overtime loss to the Pacers. As guard Victor Oladipo’s three-pointer was the difference maker with nine seconds left late in the fourth quarter.

Oladipo’s huge shot tied the game at 100, in spite of a rough shooting night finishing 2 of 9 from the field. Oladipo had nine points in his return from injury.

During the contest, the Bulls led 100-93 with 4:11 remaining to play, but would collapse and surrender the lead in the fourth quarter.

Chandler Hutchinson and Zach Lavine were the Bulls standouts, combining for 41 of their team’s 106 points in Wednesday night’s loss against the Pacers. Hutchinson finished with a team-high 21 points and LaVine finished second in scoring with 20.

Final Score: Pacers 115, Bulls 106 in OT.

Following a tough road loss to the Pacers,  the Nets dominated the Bulls 133-119 on the road in Brooklyn, thanks to 54 points by  Kyrie Irving on 19 of 23 shooting.

Irving and the Nets offense dominated the Bulls over three quarters of play. Outscoring Chicago 35-23 in the first quarter, 38-34 in the second quarter, and 30-22 in the fourth quarter to help close out the game.

The lone bright spot for the Bulls was guard Zach LaVine’s 22 points in 36 minutes of play.

Final Score: Nets 133, Bulls 119.

In game four of the team’s three game losing streak, the Bulls fell to the Toronto Raptors 129-102 on Sunday afternoon, February 2, in Toronto.

And in spite of an 21 point effort by power forward Thaddeus Young, the Bulls had no answer for Raptors rookie guard Terence Davis.

Davis exploded for 31 of his team’s 129 points off the bench in his team’s victory over the Bulls on Sunday.

The Raptors currently hold an 11-game winning streak and a 36-14 record, good for second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls loss dropped their record to 19-33 on the season, good for 9th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:

Game 1: Zach LaVine, Chicago, 23 points, two game winning free-throws versus the Spurs.
Game 2: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, clutch three-pointer to help send game into overtime.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn, game-high 54 points on 19 of 23 shooting in Nets win over Bulls
Terence Davis, Toronto, 31 points off the bench in Raptors win over Bulls.

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