The Bulls Friday finished off their worst week of the season, a 95-69 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that dropped the Bulls to 13-13 on the season. The Bucks moved ahead of them in the standings at 13-12.
It was a Bucks blowout from the start, Milwaukee running out with fast breaks, moving the ball swiftly and dominating the Bulls everywhere on the court. Dwyane Wade led the Bulls with 12 points, but shot five of 14. Jimmy Butler had a season low seven points on three of 14 shooting. Wade was the only starter to score in double figures. The Bulls shot a season low 30.4 percent.
The Bulls host Detroit Monday and Washington Wednesday before leaving on the Christmas trip to Charlotte and San Antonio. The Bulls have lost six of eight.
It was for the Bulls the second of a home and home back to back with the Bucks and third game in four nights. And the young team took advantage. After taking a 30-18 lead in the first quarter Thursday, the Bucks expanded on that leading 34-15 Friday after the first quarter. It was a disappointing 22.2 percent first quarter shooting for the Bulls as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 13 points and made a pair of threes. Again, the Bucks moved the ball with seven first quarter assists and 6-2 on fast breaks for the Bucks. The Bucks also continued to show surprising three-point range, six for 11 in the first half on threes after 11 of 20 in Milwaukee Thursday. This despite being 19th in the league in three-point shooting. Butler drew his third foul early in the second quarter and had to restrain his aggression, and then the Bulls went through a stretch with 10 straight misses and a pair of turnovers as the Bucks cruised ahead 55-31 with two minutes left in the half. Wade battled back for a driving score and a dunk, but the Bucks still led 56-37 at halftime. The Bulls shot just 29 percent in the half with Wade leading with nine points. The Bulls had 13 offensive rebounds in the half, but mostly due to misses and attempted tipins and put backs. Antetokounmpo had 16 points as he and Jabari Parker were 11 of 15 in the half.
The starters couldn’t do much again to begin the second half, one basket in the first 4:35 as the Bucks took a 66-39 lead after Parker ran out after another turnover and dunked, the Bulls third turnover of the quarter. The Bulls made a little bit of a run late in the third quarter and into the fourth with a pair of Bobby Portis threes. But coach Fred Hoiberg emptied the bench early in the fourth quarter with the Bulls behind 84-59. Taj Gibson did not return with a hip contusion.