Bulls don’t have the finishing touch to knock off the Bucks on Thursday night
MILWAUKEE – Over the course of 48 minutes, there was a feeling like this could be a moment for a signature win early in the season.
The Bucks started a stretch without Khris Middleton due to a thigh issue and the Bulls’ top rookie had another strong start to the game. Despite a big run against them in the third, Jim Boylen’s team stood their ground and made it a game in the fourth quarter.
Yet there were wasted possessions, bad shots, ill-advised turnovers that were emblematic of the rebuilding Bulls over the last two seasons and one month. Opportunities came, and while they could take advantage of a few, there weren’t enough to beat one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams, even if they were a bit shorthanded.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a good as he’s ever been in scoring 38 points while grabbing 16 rebounds, and with Eric Bledsoe chipping in 31 the Bulls couldn’t make up for a bad stretch in the third and early fourth quarter. They got it to a four-point lead with under two minutes to go but they’d get no closer in a 124-115 loss in their first match-up of the year with Milwaukee at Fiserv Forum.
Once again, the Bulls fail to win back-to-back games this season as they slip to 4-8 on the season.
Zach LaVine had 25 points and his hoop with 1:53 left got the Bulls within four but the offense got just one more point down the stretch. After his career-high 27 points in the win over the Knicks on Tuesday, Coby White had a strong start and led the Bulls in scoring with 26 points on the game.
Things were going well for the Bulls as they led by seven early in the third before Antetokoumpo and the Bucks opened things up and led by 11 at the end of the quarter. Yet the Bulls wouldn’t go away and chipped into the lead at a number of times during the final 12 minutes, but a scattering of miscues overshadowed the bulk of the rally in another win that got away for the Bulls.