Bulls hope to ‘stop the madness’ as skid hits 10
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The Bulls’ losing streak has reached double digits.
A 117-103 loss to the Heat on Saturday was the team’s season-worst 10th in a row. It’s the second 10-game skid in as many seasons for the Bulls, whose all-time record of futility is a 16-game skid during the 2000-01 season.
Their last victory was Dec. 28 against the Wizards. The Bulls have allowed 100-plus points in nine consecutive games.
“We’ve just got to get that win,” said Kris Dunn, who shot 3-for-14 and had six points. “Get that one win and be able to clear our heads and stop the madness.”
The latest letdown took place despite another good performance by Lauri Markkanen, who had 20 points and nine rebounds. Zach LaVine led the team with 22 points, and Bobby Portis contributed 21 points in 24 minutes off the bench.
Poor shooting plagued the Bulls again. They shot 39.3 percent (35-for-89) from the field, while the Heat shot 57 percent (45-for-79).
“They got comfortable,” Dunn said. “In this league, if you get comfortable, you’re going to hit shots.”
Wendell Carter Jr. is weighing his options after the Bulls’ medical staff recommended that he undergo surgery on his left thumb, which could end his rookie season after 44 games.
“He’s meeting with his family and his representation and our medical staff, so we’ll let you know when that gets figured out,” said coach Jim Boylen, who indicated that a decision could come by Monday. “Obviously, [we’re] very disappointed for him and our team. Our heart’s broken for him. Forty-four games in, he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do from a competitive standpoint and a development standpoint. That’s a gut-wrencher.”
Carter, 19, has averaged 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.2 minutes. He was injured Tuesday against the Lakers, and a follow-up exam showed the extent of the damage to his thumb.
Boylen said Carter has a bright future.
“I think he can be a dynamic defender, a multiposition defender,” Boylen said. “He has the ability to play with his back to the basket, the ability to play in the pocket in pick-and-roll, and he’s an improving shooter. He made some threes. His fundamentals on his shot have improved since he’s been here. That will only get better after he heals up. . . . There’s a lot to build on.”
Robin Lopez delivered a pregame speech to fans on the Bulls’ inaugural “Pride Night” to recognize the LGBTQ communities.
“We invite and encourage you to celebrate diversity, acceptance and equality not just tonight in this arena, but every day in your homes, workplaces and communities,” Lopez told the crowd. “We thank you for being here. Much love.”
Players wore Pride-themed shirts during warmups.
Former NBA player Jason Collins, who in 2013 became the first active player in men’s professional sports to come out as gay, is scheduled to speak with Bulls players and staff members in February.