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NBA -- Bulls edge Thunder, 114-112


PhilBoxing.com


CHICAGO?On Friday night, the Chicago Bulls started their December holiday season at home in the United Center to face Russell Westbrook and the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder in front of a crowd of 19,842, and leading to victory, 114-112.

In only their second game after an early season coaching change, the Chicago Bulls came out strong in the first half. The Bulls made more than half of their shots from the field and went 9-of-18 from 3-point land. This bested the Thunder?s abysmal 3-of-12 from the arc. The issues with the Thunder continued with their lack of points off rebounds. While the Bulls had 18 rebounds from both ends, the Thunder collected 10 more but still ended up 8 points down headed into the half, 62-70.

The Thunder perked up in the second half to remind the crowd why they currently stand in second place in the Western Conference by ending the third quarter ahead, 91-87. However, the Bulls rallied in the fourth to regain the lead, punctuated by a brilliant 3-point shot from forward Justin Holiday with just 22 seconds left in the game, followed by a much-needed one-handed alley-oop from forward Lauri Markkanen, to secure the win, 114-112.

Bulls head coach Jim Boylen was excited about the win but knows there is still work to be done.

?We have to learn how to win. We have to learn how to take the pressure of an NBA 4th quarter. I don?t think we took the third quarter very well. We didn?t have an edge (coming out of halftime) because we were happy with how the first half went. But, we were able to get back in the fourth.?

Westbrook finished the game with a triple-double, notching 17 rebounds, 13 assists, and 24 points, while center Steven Adams finished with a double-double, banking 10 rebounds and 21 points.

The Bulls face the Boston Celtics on Saturday while the Thunder travel to Utah to square off against the Jazz on Monday.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Kristy Gonowon.


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