Chuck's Daily Check In 12.19.17

FINAL: Bulls 117 Philadelphia 115. (Bulls 9-20, 5-8 at home) 76ers (14-15, 7-8 on the road)

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Dunn and Mirotic each with 22pts. 76ers: Saric: 27pts.

LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Mirotic: 13. 76ers: Simmons: 12.

LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6. 76ers: Simmons: 10.

INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM: It’s happy group of “Baby Bulls” —Make it six straight for Fred Hoiberg’s ball club.

Kris Dunn: “You can see it in the locker room, everybody has a smile and everybody is happy. I think the biggest reason why why we’re winning is we’re having fun.”

Dunn hit some big time shots at crunch time ranging from a mid-range jumper to a three ball. His line: 22 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.

Since Niko Mirotic returned to the active roster the Bulls remain unbeaten at 6-0. Another strong performance by Mirotic registering his first double-double game of the season and 22nd of his career. The numbers: 22 points and 13 rebounds. Niko also came through with a big time block on Dario Saric. Credit Coach Hoiberg for implementing a combo on the floor featuring Mirotic and Markkanen as it creates havoc for opponents to guard.

The Bulls had seven players score in double figures with Bobby Portis recording his second straight double-double game of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Justin Holiday got the Bulls rolling in the first half scoring 20 points, nailing five triples. He was at the United Center at 9:30 AM working with development coach Shawn Respert.

Lauri Markkanen returned after missing three games with back spasms scoring 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He made a huge three late in the fourth quarter.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: 16-19 free throws. The Bulls at the line had been in a serious free fall until Monday night. Coach Hoiberg told me on his pregame show he recommended the players not talk and just shoot. It worked!

CCI 2ND STAT OF THE NIGHT: 20. Philadelphia leads the NBA in turnovers and they did not disappoint committing 20 leading to 28 Bulls points.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The Bulls pacing and up tempo style is entertaining. Plenty of touches for all and the unselfish play is contagious. The bench is engaged supporting the players who are on the floor and the fans are embracing this ball club. It’s a good group to be around. Even when the team was in a tailspin the locker-room remained solid. No finger pointing.

UP NEXT: Home Wednesday with Orlando.


The Lakers retired Kobe Bryant’s jerseys #8 and 24. Magic Johnson called Bryant the greatest ever to wear the purple and gold. Agree or disagree? Kareem, Magic, Baylor, West.......The game itself was KD playing the role of “The Mamba” with a 20 foot jumper with 7 seconds left in OT as the Warriors won their ninth straight 116-114 over the Lakers. Durant also chipped in with 11 boards, 8 assists and 3 blocks.

Boston’s Terry Rozier with the go ahead dunk with 1.5 sec left as the Celtics beat the Pacers 112-111. Indiana’s Victor Oladipo scored 12 of his 38 points in the final two minutes.

Bulletin just in....Atlanta wins! Hawks beat the injury riddled Miami Heat 110-104. Miami’s Hassan Whiteside missed his 10th straight game.

Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky scored 24 points as the Hornets got a much needed win over the Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis missed his second straight game with left knee soreness.

Make it 14 straight wins for the Rockets. Eric Gordon with 17 of his 33 in the fourth quarter in a win over Utah.

Russell Westbrook flat out took over the game for OKC scoring 16 of his 38 in the fourth quarter. Thunder 95 Denver 94. Melo was held to four points, fewest since 2012.

The Spurs topped LAC. The Suns won their second straight game beating Dallas.

Jimmy Butler with 37, knocking down two free throws with 2.5 seconds left as Minnesota edged Portland 108-107. Vintage Jamal Crawford with a season-high 23, 16 in the fourth.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach me at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls.

Always a pleasure! Go Bulls!