FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Bulls 109, Denver 97 (Bulls: 17-8, 8-4 at home).
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls- LaVine (32 pts), Denver- Barton and Morris (19)
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Ball and Vucevic (10), Denver- Green (13)
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls- Dosunmu and LaVine (8), Denver- Jokic (15)
CCI STAT OF THE GAME: The Bulls outscored Denver 63-48 in the second half.
CCI RECAP: The two teams were missing a combined eleven players including the NBA's fourth-leading scorer DeMar DeRozan as the Bulls overcame his absence with contributions from starters and reserves. DeRozan has entered the NBA's health and safety protocols. Alex Caruso sat out as well with a hamstring injury and will be re-evaluated in a week according to Head Coach Billy Donovan.
Zach LaVine scored a game-high 32 points. Nikola Vucevic and Lonzo Ball each recorded double-double games. In his first NBA start, Chicago's very own, Ayo Dosunmu was outstanding, playing 42 minutes, scoring 11 points, six rebounds, eight assists and one steal. Denver shot 39% from the field and 34% from 3-point range.
I can't say enough about the heart and grit of the Bulls. They compete every night. They are extremely well coached and never allow adversity to get in the way of winning. The Bulls produced another sellout crowd- on a Monday night- 21,236. Chicagoland fans love the vibe of this team. The Bulls are just percentage points behind Brooklyn for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
NEXT: At Cleveland Wednesday.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Milwaukee 112, Cleveland 104: On his 27th birthday, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points.
Indiana 116, Washington 110: The Pacers' Domantas Sabonis recorded his 19th double-double of the season.
Philadelphia 127, Charlotte 124 OT: Joel Embiid had a season-high 43 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. Embiid scored six of the 76ers eight overtime points. Charlotte's Kelly Oubre Jr. was sensational with 35 points.
Atlanta 121, Minnesota 110: The Hawks won despite playing without four regulars on a second game of a back to back. Former Bull, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had a career high seven-three pointers for the Hawks.
Memphis 105, Miami 90: Memphis has won five straight without the injured Ja Morant.
Phoenix 108, San Antonio 104:Chris Paul posted 21 points and 10 assists.
Golden State 126, Orlando 95: Steph Curry drained seven-three point shots. Orlando is 5-20.
Los Angeles Clippers, 102 Portland 90: Paul George had a 21-8-4 steals game. The Trail Blazers have lost three straight.
Oklahoma City 114, Detroit 103: Yes, CCI covers every game! Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a 30 points,, 13 assists game. The Pistons blew a double digit fourth quarter lead, being out scored 25-8 in the final five minutes. The Pistons dropped to 4-19.