Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls
Bulls fall to Hornets at home
Bulls fall to 36-22
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By Sam Smith | 2.25.2015 | 9:11 p.m. CT
The Bulls Wednesday endured the start of their latest era without Derrick Rose, losing 98-86 to the Charlotte Hornets.
The loss dropped the Bulls to 36-22 with the Hornets pushing for a playoff spot moving to 23-32. The Bulls are 17-12 at home. The Bulls were led by Pau Gasol with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte.
There were 15 ties and 18 lead changes through three quarters before the Hornets had a 9-4 start to the fourth quarter behind a pair of tough Lance Stephenson scores. The Bulls got within 76-73 with 8:43 left, but Charlotte then scored on nine of its next 10 possessions and the Bulls could not keep pace.
The Bulls got a nice boost from Aaron Brooks to start with nine first quarter points and a 17-8 start. The Hornets then ran off 10 straight after he went out with the offense slowing down and the Bulls without a fast break point in the first half to 12 for Charlotte. It was 20-20 after one quarter and the teams traded leads for the rest of the half and were tied 44-44 at halftime. The Bulls matched the Hornets early on the third behind Gasol and then the Hornets behind Mo Williams’ shooting drew out to a 67-61 lead late in the third quarter. But the Bulls went into the fourth trailing 67-65 thanks to some vigorous play inside from Taj Gibson.
1. Gasol’s pick and pop shooting, especially working with Aaron Brooks, enabled Gasol to increase his league leading double/double total to 38.
2. Brooks looked comfortable starting for the injured Derrick Rose. Brooks gives the Bulls a better offensive option than Kirk Hinrich and with a typically slow starting first five it makes sense for Brooks to remain the starter with Rose out. Though Brooks’ free throw shooting was uncharacteristically poor for him.
3. Tony Snell continued to shoot the ball well from deep as the Bulls probably need to run more catch and shoot plays for him as well as Nikola Mirotic.