Boylen, Popovich describe tough comeback win by beleaguered Bulls

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"That's a tough loss," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I give Chicago a lot of credit. Coach Boylen had them ready, and the character and fortitude they showed being down at the half by 19 is a real tribute to what they are trying to establish in Chicago. Their defense took us out of things. We turned it over because of their pressure. The ball stopped moving, and at the right time, they started making some shots down the stretch. They deserve a lot of credit, and that's a real tough loss for us."

Hot shooting (58.8 percent) and fast starts from LaMarcus Aldridge (7-of-9 for 21 points in the first half) and DeMar DeRozan (4-of-8 for 12 points) propelled the home team to a 62-43 advantage at intermission, which typically bodes well for the Spurs, considering they hadn't blown a lead of 20 points or more all season.

But the outcome in this outing marked the fifth-largest lead ever surrendered by the Spurs in the Popovich era, and the Bulls pulled off the rally without shooting guard Zach LaVine, who caught a flight back to Chicago earlier that morning to undergo further evaluation on the left ankle he injured Thursday in a loss to the Orlando nfl nike jerseys china

"We were down 19, came back out in the second half, and I think we fought well," said Dunn, who made his first start in his third game back from a left knee injury. "In the first half, we weren't making shots. But I thought we played good defense, and they made tough ones. We kept guarding in the second half, and we executed in the fourth quarter."3

San Antonio held a 21-point lead with 10:48 remaining in the third quarter, before the Bulls stiffened defensively and started attacking downhill on offense.

Feeling like they had settled for too many jumpers in the first two frames, Boylen stressed "drive the ball, drive the ball" in the locker room at halftime, but he also assured the Bulls that the outcome in this one was "not gonna turn with offense. It's gonna turn with defense."

Chicago would finish the final 22:48 of the game on a 55-29 run, while limiting San Antonio to just 31 points in the second half. And the Bulls couldn't and didn't rely on the 3-ball to get back into contention. No, they hit 16-of-27 from inside the arc during the comeback, as Dunn and Markkanen matched San Antonio's entire output over the last 22 minutes with 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting.

"I thought in the second half we drove the ball better," Boylen said. "Lauri got downhill. Kris got downhill. Defensively, I thought we were pretty good. I'd have to look at the film, but it looked like we knocked a lot of balls loose. We were flying around pretty good."cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

So good that DeRozan, who took more shots than anyone on either team after the 10:48 mark of the third quarter, missed 10 of his last 14 attempts as the Spurs missed 10-of-11 from deep over that final 22:48. Dunn and Markkanen knocked down more buckets by themselves than the entire San Antonio squad after it built that 21-point lead.

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