CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls hosted the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday evening at the United Center in their fourth preseason contest. After stealing a win from the Pelicans last week despite a very underwhelming start, the Bulls were unable to do the same on Sunday evening as they fell to New Orleans 108-95.
The big story heading into the game this evening was the Bulls debut of first round draft pick, Lauri Markkanen after back spasms sidelined him for the first three preseason games this season. Markkanen had a rough go of it in his first NBA action on Sunday night, logging only four points on 1-9 shooting from the field, including an 0-6 effort from three-point land. Markkanen hit one shot from the field and added a pair of free throws in his roughly 16 minutes on the court, finishing with a +/- of -9.
After leading the Pelicans by a slim margin after the first quarter of action the Bulls surrendered the lead in the second quarter and never regained it from New Orleans, who shot 42 percent from the field and were led by Chicago native Anthony Davis who had a monster night. Davis poured in 37 points against his hometown team while pulling down 15 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins added 22 points and nine assists to the mix for the Pelicans while also swatting away a pair of Chicago shots.
Jrue Holiday, brother of Bulls’ shooting guard Justin Holiday scored 19 points and recorded nine rebounds for New Orleans as well. Justin scored 13 points and grabbed three rebounds and three assists for the Bulls as he failed to keep up with his opposing sibling on Sunday night.
The Bulls struggled from the field, shooting just 36 percent and made only 11 of 41 three-point attempts (26.8%) on the evening as multiple players failed to convert a single shot from the floor. Paul Zipser (0-3), Cristiano Felicio (0-3), Jarell Eddie (0-1) and Ryan Arcidiacono (0-4) all struggled to get the lid off of the basket, going a combined 0-11 from the field during their combined 56 minutes of action.
With Kris Dunn out for the immediate future Jerian Grant was again in his starting role this evening at the point guard position, turning in another solid performance as he scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes of action. Denzel Valentine had a solid performance as well as he scored a team-high 15 points in 25 minutes.
Nikola Mirotic, Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday each added 13 points in the losing effort on Sunday. Thee Bulls are now 2-2 in the preseason with two more games remaining. The Bulls will be back in action against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.