Recapping the Chicago Bulls: Andre Drummond shows out in a 4th-quarter surge that cements a 128-104 win over the San Antonio Spurs

Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Basketball

CHICAGO — In the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls’ 128-104 win Monday, the San Antonio Spurs couldn’t keep Andre Drummond off the rim.

The veteran center crunched the ball through the hoop three times in the quarter. Each time he dangled off the metal — with one hand, with both, mouth open in a roar, lip curling into a snarl — to punctuate a dominant night in which he logged 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Monday’s performance at the United Center was a welcome vindication for Drummond, who was a healthy scratch in five of the previous 11 games as coach Billy Donovan struggled to fit the bulky center into his rotations.

And it was a welcome contribution for the Bulls, who improved to one game below .500 with their third consecutive win.

The highs

— The Bulls struggled to keep the Spurs at arm’s length through three quarters, allowing a 12-point lead to slip away in the third. But they found their footing in the fourth to squash any hope of a comeback, outscoring the Spurs 38-19 in the quarter and leading by 33 at one point.


— The dominant fourth allowed the Bulls to rotate in their younger reserves in the final three minutes, giving Dalen Terry and Tony Bradley Jr. cherished time on the court. Terry closed the game on an emphatic note with a soaring dunk for the Bulls’ final points.

— Coby White showcased an improved skill set on the defensive end, making two steals and providing a disruptive presence throughout the second half. White focused on his defense and ballhandling in the offseason, and both were on display Monday as he sparked the Bulls in transition with four assists.

The lows

— DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine suffered slow starts that contributed to the Bulls’ inability to pull away. LaVine went scoreless for the entire second quarter and didn’t break out of the drought until less than four minutes were left in the third. DeRozan scored only eight points until the final minutes of the third, when he came alive to score the final five points of the quarter and push the Bulls back ahead 90-85. Both players helped spark the fourth-quarter surge, and LaVine finished with 20 points and DeRozan with 19.


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