The San Antonio Spurs were unbeaten on the road entering Thursday’s game with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls had won 15 in a row during TNT Thursday doubleheaders. Which streak prevailed?
The Chicago Bulls put their vaunted 15-game winning streak (during games played in scheduled TNT doubleheaders) on the line against the 13-0 road record of the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night in Chicago.
Thursday’s game featured the likes of Kawhi Leonard and his ability to portray a robot playing basketball, while the Bulls possessed one of the game’s best players in Jimmy Butler as well.
Who would prevail?
Two total fouls.
38 combined points.
And, a Cristiano Felicio appearance before Bobby Portis for the second game in a row.
We haven’t even gotten to the part where the Bulls lead by four points against an 18-win team without Jimmy Butler or Dwyane Wade scoring a single point in the quarter.
It was ugly, it was slow, but the Bulls got the better of the Spurs in the frame. Rajon Rondo jumped out to a four-point, four-assist start. Taj Gibson and Robin Lopez were also able to score against the duo of LaMarcus Aldridge (a former Bull technically) and Pau Gasol (a definite former Bull).
The Bulls even gave Gasol, like … a 10-second welcome back video, too.
The Bulls not only won the second quarter, they extended their lead with a 24-15 frame and took a halftime lead into the locker room, 45-32.
Against the Spurs?
Here’s how weird the first half ended in three tweets:
The last tweet was added because, what in the world is Scottie Pippen wearing? He pulled a robbery from Pharrell Williams’ closet off and didn’t caught.
As for the basketball, the Bulls held the Spurs to just 15 field goals in 49 attempts in the first half. Aldridge and Leonard combined to shoot 6-for-17 in the first two quarters.
Oh, and the Spurs shot 1-of-11 from 3-point range in the half.
(Meanwhile, this Bulls lead also came with Jimmy Butler’s box score line looking like this: 0 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists, 2 steals, a block, a turnover, a foul and a plus-minus of +10.)
In what was easily the best quarter of the game of the first three, the Spurs found some things offensively.
One of those things: Kawhi Leonard.
The Bulls also had their own offensive thing in the form of Jimmy Butler, who finally put the ball in the basket a few times after missing his first six shots of the night.
Butler was able to find a little rhythm in the third quarter, scoring nine points while grabbing a couple rebounds and making all four attempts at the free-throw line.
But, despite leading by as much as 18 points in the game, the Spurs trailed the Bulls by just nine points entering the final frame. The road team closed the quarter on a 16-7 push to inch closer to the lead.
Cristiano Felicio dunked the ball in this quarter and it was great.
The Bulls tried to slam the door on the Spurs throughout the better part of the quarter, but Leonard and the Spurs kept pushing and pushing.
(Note: This was just silly.)
Leonard got some help throughout the half in the form of Patty Mills, who chipped in 16 points, including four 3-pointers. (The Spurs had just six as a team in 21 attempts.)
San Antonio continued to chip away and chip away, and got the lead all the way down to just four (88-84) with a shade over three minutes left. But, Tony Parker committed the ultimate sin of fouling the open 3-point shooter — the returning Doug McDermott — and gave the Bulls an opening.
McDermott drained all three free throws to push the lead back out to 91-84. Aldridge would answer with a tip-in bucket off a Parker miss, then Jimmy Butler tried to stick the dagger into the Spurs.
Butler gave the Bulls a 93-86 lead. Leonard would answer again with a big putback dunk, but the Spurs couldn’t get any close than a five-point deficit (93-88) in large part to three huge offensive rebounds by Wade, Butler and Lopez in the final 90 seconds.
The Bulls would go on to hold off the Spurs, 95-91.
This also happened, too.
Always put your money on the Donut.