The Chicago Bulls have been struggling coming into Monday nights game on a five game losing streak. Luckily the Bulls ran into another team who’s having a disappointing season the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets have dropped two of their last three games coming into Monday nights match up. In the end it was the Bulls who broke their losing streak as they picked up a 115-109 victory over the Hornets.
There where five lead changes and three ties between the teams in the 1st quarter. The last tie was at 24 all with 1:49 left in the quarter after Treveon Graham hit his second of two free throws. Graham’s free throw was the last points the Hornets would score as the Bulls hit four three pointers to close out the quarter and take a 36-24 lead after one quarter.
The teams played a very even 2nd quarter. The biggest lead Chicago was able to build was 15 points at 44-29 with 9:41 left in the quarter on a Nikola Mirotic 3-pointer. The closest Charlotte could get in the quarter was seven points at 45-38 when Jeremy Lamb hit a jumper with 6:09 left in the quarter. Charlotte was able to outscored the Bulls by two points in the 2nd quarter 24-22. The Bulls headed into halftime with a 10 point lead at 58-48.
The Hornets started out the 3rd quarter on a 11-2 run and cut the Chicago lead to one point at 60-59. The Bulls pushed the lead back to five points, but the Hornets came right back and made it a one point game at 66-65. Chicago took a four point lead again, but this time Charlotte came all the way back to tie the game at 69 all with 5:20 left. The Bulls finished the quarter on a 18 to 8 run and built their lead back to 10 points at 87-77 heading into the final quarter.
The Hornets made a couple of 4th quarter runs getting the Bulls lead down to three points on two occasions. The last time the Hornets got to within three was when Jeremy Lamb made a lay up with :23 seconds left in the game. The Bulls made five of their six free throw attempts down the stretch to cap off their 115-109 victory.
Nikola Mirotic came off the Bulls bench to post a double- double. Mirotic was the teams high scorer with 24 points and also led the team in rebounding with 11. Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade each had 23 points while Butler also handed out a game high 11 assists. Rajon Rondo was back in the starting line up for the Bulls and scored 20 points. Denzel Valentine also scored in double figures coming off the Bulls bench as he went for 11. points.
Jeremy Lamb was the games leading scorer with 26 points. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 22 points. Kemba Walker and Marvin Williams each posted double-doubles. Walker scored 21 points and handed out a team high 10 assists while Williams scored 13 points and grabbed a game high 18 rebounds. All of Charlotte’s starters reached double figures in scoring as Cody Zeller also added 11 points.
With the win the Bulls record goes to 32-35. Chicago will get a day off before they host the 37-30 Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night. The Hornets fall to 29-38 with the loss. Charlotte will also get a day off before they go on the road to face the 34-32 Indiana Pacers.