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Chicago @ San Antonio, Final Score: Spurs run the Bulls out of the Alamo City, 119-100

After a hot start from the Spurs, led by LaMarcus Aldridge hitting his first 11 shots, the Bulls climbed back into the game with tenacious defense. Dewayne Dedmon's second half domination inside helped put the game out of reach.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs started off the game with an amazing display of hot shooting, and rushed out to an early 20 point lead. The Bulls answered with strong defensive play in the second quarter and much of the third to get back into the game, but San Antonio put the game away late with great rebounding and defense.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 33 points and had perhaps his best game as a Spur. Kawhi Leonard was also pivotal on both ends, but it was the bench unit for the Spurs, sparked by Dewayne Dedmon, that helped put the game away in the second half after the Bulls climbed back in midway through the third quarter.

Game Flow

The first quarter was a scoring exhibition from the Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge easily sank four mid-range jumpers to open the game, and Kawhi followed suit with a pair of triples. Overall, the Spurs started 12-of-13 from the field, with the only miss being a midrange Tony Parker jumper. The Spurs shooting cooled off a bit and the Bulls played with more energy at the end of the quarter to cut into the lead slightly, capped by a Jerian Grant triple as the clock expired. The Spurs led 36-25 after one quarter.

The second quarter turned to sloppy play, and after an errant Danny Green pass led to a Nikola Mirotic transition three, the Bulls cut the lead to seven. After a timeout, Doug McDermott hit another triple to cut the lead to four. Luckily for the good guys, the Bulls went a little cold and the Spurs went on an 8-0 run to run their lead back to double digits. But the Bulls continued to run, and cut the deficit to three with just under a minute left. A late jumper from Kawhi gave the Spurs a 55-50 lead at the half.

The second half started with Pau Gasol taking advantage of Robin Lopez in the post, but the Bulls attacked the paint and kept pace. The Bulls tied the score at 63 after Dwyane Wade hit an open three off an offensive board. Leonard put the Spurs up with a putback, and on the ensuing possession, David Lee doubled the lead by pushing the ball before Chicago could set their defense. But the Bulls evened the score again at 67, and then a Jimmy Butler triple put the Bulls up by three. The Spurs answered with a pair of spectacular dunks by Dewayne Dedmon. Double-D continued his energetic play with a layup and then earned a foul under the basket on a Ginobili three point shot to put the Spurs up 10, 81-71. Wade was able to beat Jonathon Simmons on a dropstep under the basket, but the bench maintained the pressure and the Spurs led 87-74 after three.

Wade did his part early in the fourth to try and cut the lead, but Danny Green pocketed a couple of triples and the Spurs led 95-80. A retro Parker drive to the basket and an elbow jumper put the Spurs up 109-93 with under five minutes left. The Spurs closed well, with the only sour note being a lazy pass from Kawhi after a spectacular block which gave an easy dunk to Jimmy Butler. Dejounte Murray got in the game late and scored on a couple of quick drives to the basket, making a case for more time on the court.

Random Observations

  • LaMarcus Aldridge outscored the Bulls in the first nine minutes of the game. He scored 20 in the first quarter, which was probably his best quarter as a Spur.
  • The Spurs are undefeated when they wear black jerseys at home.
  • I can't figure out Rajon Rondo. Sometimes I think he's a terrible player, but he almost always plays well against the Spurs. He can't shoot, except when he's playing against the Spurs.
  • Dewayne Dedmon is great. For a guy who's only been playing basketball for a few years, his defensive repertoire and offensive finesse are incredible. What's scary is that I don't think he's anywhere near his ceiling.
  • Jimmy Butler plays really physically. I'm not sure why he doesn't get more fouls called on him, because he knocks a lot of people down.

Music Break

This season has been a little crazy for the Andersons, but at least they always have tickets to the games.

Final thoughts

The Spurs have a couple of days off before a Wednesday night game against the Phoenix Suns at the AT&T Center at 7:30 PM. They're in second place in the Western Conference, 1.5 games behind the Golden State Warriors, who lost to the Cavaliers earlier today. They've now lost four consecutive games to the Cavs after taking a 3-1 lead in the Finals.