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Final Score: Spurs Fall to Bulls, 104-81

The Spurs can only muster one half of basketball, being outscored 58-41 in the 2nd half, and end their four-game wining streak in Chicago.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors of Derrick Rose’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. He looked as good in tonight’s game as he has in the past two years. He had explosiveness, tenacity, and that unguardable hesitation dribble.

That’s not to imply that San Antonio played a great game and were simply outplayed by a superhuman performance; the Spurs were pretty awful. Which is a surprise considering how they'd just won four straight, and 8 out of the previous 10. A casual fan may have mistaken the Spurs, rather than the Bulls, as losers of 6 of the last 8.

The game started off a little sloppy, with good defense from both teams and poor offensive execution (at least one team would remedy this as the game progressed). It was a fairly even quarter, which ended on the high point of the night from the Spurs.

(Whenever we get around to launching another Voyager Golden…zip drive into space, it should include a highlight tape of Ginobili’s passing.)

The second quarter was Kawhi Leonard vs. the Bulls. Leonard had 14 of the Spurs 18, and made every non alley-oop field goal the Spurs scored. The Bulls had a much more meager 5 points per person average--or 25 total--to lead 46-40 at halftime.

The next 8 minutes were arguably the worst of the season for the Spurs, and some awful basketball happened. When I regained consciousness at the 4-minute mark of the 3rd quarter, the Bulls were up 73-48, and Popovich was throwing in the towel. The Big 4 did not see another minute in the game.

The 2nd Unit + Danny had a few isolated good plays, but could never stop the Bulls’ starters (who Thibodeau probably still has running plays on the court, hours after the final whistle). The lone bright spot of these final minutes (outside of a Bonner post move) was an extended run for JaMychal Green, who, in 15 minutes , finished with 8 points, 3 offensive rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1000% more athleticism than anyone else on the roster.

On the bright side: at least the Spurs starters, and the team’s wounds, will be fresh for the Lakers tomorrow!