After losing their fourth player to injury last night in Houston, the Spurs came into tonight's game depleted and in need of a win. The early going was rough for both teams, as the score at the end of the first quarter was 21-15, Bulls. Chicago was a little quicker out of the gate, holding a 9-point lead late in the quarter.
However, Patty Mills hit a big 3 with 2 seconds left in the first, igniting a 17-3 run that went halfway into the second quarter. They traded baskets for a couple minutes, then the Bulls went on a 12-0 run of their own to close out the second quarter with a 40-36 lead. Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the first half. The Spurs went 14-35 from the field, and the Bulls went 18-45.
The third quarter featured higher scoring from both teams, as both teams scored their highest point totals of the night in the quarter. Even with the higher scoring, Chicago's lead grew to 68-61 at the end of quarter due to seven San Antonio turnovers and a stall in scoring.
Through the fourth quarter, the Spurs kept it within a reasonable distance to make a late run, but it never came. Chicago's tough defense kept a stranglehold on the lead, and didn't allow the Spurs depleted offense another shot at the game. The Bulls ended up winning, 96-86.
The high-point man for San Antonio tonight was Tony Parker with 20 points on 8-17 shooting, also racking up 6 assists. Tim Duncan had 17 points on 7-14 shooting with 12 boards. Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli also finished in double-figures.
The most telling stat for the game was turnovers. The Spurs had 19 total due to the suffocating Bulls defense, which the Bulls turned into easy points.