Bulls defeat Mavericks, 127-124

The Bulls Friday came back in the fourth quarter from an eight point deficit to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 127-124.

The Bulls raised their record to 14-25. Dallas fell to 13-27.

Kris Dunn had a career high 32 points to go along with nine assists and four steals. Justin Holiday scored 23 points and was crucial in enabling the Bulls to avoid a colossal collapse in the last minute after leading by 10 points with 68 seconds left. The Mavericks began to trap and press and foul and the Bulls continued to lose the ball, Holiday’s eight free throws in the last minute enabling the Bulls to survive.

Lauri Markkanen had 16 points with a massive followup slam dunk late. David Nwaba had 13 points, Robin Lopez 12 and Nikola Mirotic 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Bulls reserves were crucial with 42 points and erasing that Dallas lead to start the fourth quarter. The Bulls scored a  season high 47 points in the fourth quarter with the Dallas fouling tactics in the last minute. The Mavs even had an open three-point attempt at the buzzer to tie the game after that lead in the last seconds.

There was plenty of game within the game for two teams with almost identical records. Dallas’ Dennis Smith Jr. had his way in the first Summer League game against Kris Dunn. Smith was selected in last June’s draft two picks after Lauri Markkanen. The Bulls were without Cristiano Felicia, who was playing in the G-league while Zach LaVine watched from the bench as he hopes to return soon. The Bulls got off to a blazing start, making their first eight shots for a 20-7 lead as both Dunn and Markkanen had nine points in the first quarter. The Bulls continued to push the lead, getting ahead 27-14 before Dallas ran off nine straight points after a second timeout of the quarter. The Bulls finished the first leading 34-28 on six of seven threes and 68 percent shooting. But the Bulls reserve group resorted to isolation play again, though was more guilty of a defensive letdown as the Mavericks would go on to score 18 of their 25 second quarter points on layups and dunks. Dunn again had foul trouble and had to go out with three minutes left in the second quarter. The Bulls would go on to lead 57-53 at halftime with Markkanen scoring 14 points in the first half.

The Mavericks then grabbed their first lad since 3-2 early in the third quarter with a 10-2 run to start the quarter. The Bulls again began to settle for quick jump shots while Dallas got a sentimental run from Dirk Nowitzki with seven points as Dallas took a 70-66 lead. The Bulls had a chance for a run with Mavs mistakes. But the Bulls matched it with turnovers in three of five possessions before a Justin Holiday three on a Dunn penetration and pass. Dunn would have 11 third quarter points. But the Mavericks closed the third quarter with a rush of hot shooting and a 16-9 finish to take an 88-80 lead entering the fourth quarter. Dallas was shooting 55 percent through three quarters, the Bulls at 54 percent. The Bulls trailed despite 10 of 20 threes through three quarters after Dallas’ 35-point third quarter. Then it was the Bulls reserves taking the game back with a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter, the Bulls finally taking advantage inside of the mismatches of the Mavericks playing three guards.