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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

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Bulls fall to the Nuggets in a 112-92 battle


It was a tough game last night for the bulls at Coors Events Center on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder. For the Bulls, this game served as part of Fred Hoiberg’s first official time coaching the Chicago Bulls. There were a lot of variables that led the the Bull’s defeat. It was the road, the altitude, players out injured and resting. There were plenty of reasons as the Bulls trailed by double digits after a 16-0 Denver second quarter run and lost in to the Nuggets 112-94.

After a closely contested opening five minutes, Denver exploded for a 26-3 run behind the small ball lineup featuring Jameer Nelson, Gary Harris, Will Barton, Mike Miller and Nikola Jokic to put Chicago behind early in the game. The Bulls, without starters Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol, never recovered for the next three quarters.

The bulls were led by the 2nd-year rookie player, Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic scored 18 points. The Bulls took a 21-20 first quarter lead with Mirotic scoring nine first quarter points.

Another 2nd-year veteran Doug McDermott scored 15 points. This contribution helped give the bulls an edge in the 1st half of the quarter.

Rookie Bobby Portis added 10 points and was high with 16 rebounds, though it was mostly late in the game against Denver’s benchwarmers.

“I’d think that starting Rose and Butler are the most obvious choices, and seeing how McDermott and Snell are playing, I’d have to start McDermott as well, even if Dunleavy were back,” said Adam Gottlieb, Sports Analysis.

The Bulls went with the same starting lineup from the Tuesday opening night with E’Twaun Moore, Tony Snell, Jimmy Butler, Mirotic and Joakim Noah. Butler had the highlight move with a drive splitting the defense and a behind the back pass to Mirotic for a slam dunk.

Hoiberg stuck to his plan of resting veterans and started McDermott and Portis for the second half. That young group made a little run, but then fell back to trail 87-67 after three in the game in Boulder, Colo.

The offense was more fluid than in the Nuggets two previous preseason games, but Denver’s defense is what suffocated and frustrated Chicago throughout the entirety of tonight’s contest, limiting the Bulls to 34 percent shooting on the night.

“I see the flashes of five guys working in unison, coming together, covering for each other,” said Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets Head Coach. “That’s what good defenses have. They have that synergy on defense and you saw it at times tonight.”

The Bulls are now 1-1 in the preseason and will be playing Minnesota in Winnipeg this Saturday. Stay tuned for more Chicago Bulls news.
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Bulls fall to the Nuggets in a 112-92 battle