After an alarming stretch that saw the Chicago Bulls lose four in a row, they have bounced back in a massive way. The Bulls followed up their morale-boosting victory over the best team in the league, the Boston Celtics, earlier in the week with an equally uplifting 118-113 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Here are three takeaways from their victory.
Three-point shooting saves the day
The Bulls aren't known for their three-point shooting; it's their waterloo, often a weak point to exploit. But against the Bucks, they stepped up their game and shot an impressive 42 percent (18-of-42) from behind the arc. That was key to them taking control in the endgame.
First, Coby White canned a corner triple to tie the game at 109 with 1:15 remaining. He then added another, this time from the opposite corner, to give the Bulls a 112-109 lead. Moments later, Nikola Vucevic added another trey for good measure, putting the game away at 115-109 with just 20 ticks on the clock.
DeRozan comes up big once again
DeMar DeRozan loves the thrill of competing against the league's best. He's a prolific scorer and never shies away from taking on anyone. Against the Bucks, he dropped 36 points and dished out eight assists. He was magnificent in the third quarter, where he tallied 18 points that helped the Bulls pull in front, 90-83.
He was also active on defense, blocking Bucks big man Brook Lopez on one end and scoring in transition on the other.
Williams and Caruso did the dirty work
The box score shows two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. What the stat sheet fails to show is how hard the Greek Freak had to work for his points. That was all thanks to some gritty defense by Patrick Williams and Alex Caruso, who relentlessly hounded him in the pick-and-roll while aggressively attacking him off the dribble.
It was a team effort that kept Giannis from taking over and ultimately sealed the Bulls' victory. Proof of this effort is evident on this play when Williams came over to help Zach LaVine and stymie Antetokounmpo's spin to the basket. Instead of getting an easy bucket, Antetokounmpo got called for a traveling violation — one of his eight turnovers.
Next up for the Bulls is a game against Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday; the second of their six-game road trip that couldn't have begun any better.