Heading into the 4th quarter, the Dallas Mavericks looked to be in good shape as they attempted to grab their 5th consecutive victory. From there, though, Joakim Noah and the rest of the Chicago Bulls defense simply took over the game and were able to escape with a 100-91 road victory.
Chicago entered the final frame with a 3-point deficit, but the Bulls were able to hold the high-powered Mavs to just 15 points in the 4th, and with 27 of their own, they were able to grab the 9-point win. On the whole, Dallas shot just over 40% from the field and 35% from 3-point distance, and while that isn’t disastrous, the Mavs have been sporting an elite-level offense all season, and it’s a bit jarring to see them struggle at home.
From an individual standpoint, there were several big-time performances from Chicago players. Taj Gibson led the way statistically with 20 points and 15 rebounds off the bench, while Jimmy Butler added 19 points and 7 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy flanked that with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Defensively, the Bulls are always anchored by Joakim Noah, and while his stats weren’t crazy (10 points, 9 rebounds), his energy and rim protection were incredibly valuable.
On the Dallas side, Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki each got their scoring production, but the potent duo combined to shoot just 14-for-37, and that won’t get it done for the Mavs. It is almost unfathomable that Dallas would drop a home game to a Chicago team that commits 20 turnovers (yikes), but the shots simply weren’t falling, and the Bulls went to a different gear late that the Mavs couldn’t match.
The win gives Chicago their 7th victory in 8 attempts, and the Bulls continue to defy the odds (and expectations) with every victory in the era after Luol Deng and Derrick Rose.