Chuck's Daily Check In - 12.27.18

FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Minnesota 119, Bulls 94. (Bulls 9-26, 5-13 at home)

LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 28 points. Minnesota: Rose: 24 points.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Carter Jr. and Lopez each with 9. Minnesota: Towns: 20.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 7. Minnesota: Rose: 8.

CCI RECAP: Minnesota won the mini two game season series by jumping on the Bulls in the first quarter and never looked back. Triggered by the pace and scoring of Derrick Rose, Minnesota led by 23 at halftime. The Bulls scored 64 points in the paint and yet lost by 25. The Bulls inability to make mid-range and three-point shots coupled with the T-Wolves shooting nearly 50% from the floor made it a tough night at the office for the Bulls.

For the second time in as many games against the Bulls, Karl-Anthony Towns had a 20 rebounds performance. The jury is out on Minnesota and just how good they are in the loaded Western Conference but on this night the T-Wolves looked terrific.

The Bulls welcomed the return of Zach LaVine who scored 28 points in 26 minutes. He didn't commit a turnover and was a definite bright spot for the Bulls who saw their two-game win streak end in front of a sellout crowd at the United Center.

CCI IN THE LOCKER ROOM: Coach Boylen: "I thought Zach looked good and aggressive. I like it when he drives the ball and turns the corner. If you don't settle early, you get to the line, you get downhill. I thought all his shots were pretty good shots for the most part."

CCI GAME BALLS: Bulls: LaVine, Dunn. Minnesota: Rose, Towns.

UP NEXT: At Washington Friday.


Detroit 106, Washington 95: The Pistons went on a 25-2 run to start the second half. Andre Drummond recorded his 10th straight double-double. The Wizards have lost eight out of their last ten games and are 4-16 on the road.

Toronto 106, Miami 105: The Raps own the best record in the NBA at 26-10. Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points for Toronto. Best player in the East? Leonard or Giannis?

Phoenix 122, Orlando 120: The Suns won for the fifth time in seven games. Orlando has lost four straight.

Indiana 129, Atlanta 121: The Pacers matched a season high with 35 assists. Indiana has won 10 of 12 games.

Brooklyn 134, Charlotte 132 2OT: Joe Harris with a season-high 27 which included a driving layup with 3.4 seconds left in the second overtime. Spencer Dinwiddie is having a fabulous year as he registered 37 points and 11 assists OFF the bench. The Nets have won 9 of 10 games.

Memphis 95, Cleveland 87: The Cavs missed their first twelve shots. Marc Gasol: 20-9-6. Cleveland has lost four straight.

Dallas 122, New Orleans 119: The Mavs ended a six-game slide. Luka Doncic scored 21 points, going 11-12 from the free throw line. Anthony Davis was, well, Anthony Davis: 32-18 but an all too familiar theme; Davis is spectacular and a Pels loss. It was New Orleans' fifth straight defeat.

San Antonio 111, Denver 103: DeRozan and Aldridge combined for 57 points. Don't look now but the Spurs are ballin'. San Antonio has won 8 of 10, knocking on the Rockets door for first place in the Southwest Division.

Los Angeles Clippers 127, Sacramento 118: LAC's Montrezl Harrell is having a rock solid first half of the season. He recorded 22 points, 9 rebounds and five block shots.

Good news for the Lakers and NBA fans as LeBron James avoided a severe groin injury in Tuesday's win over the Warriors. He's listed day to day.

Thanks for reading CCI. Reach out at cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter: @ctsbulls. Always a pleasure.