Nikola Vucevic matches career high with 43 points to send Bulls on to Paris with victory

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic was a possessed man.

Every time the Bulls needed answers against the Warriors at the United Center on Sunday, he was there.

Vucevic produced in and out of the three-point arc, capitalizing on the Warriors in isolated 1-1 situations, matching his career-high 43 points and leading the Bulls to a 132-118 victory, ending a three-game losing streak. bottom. He added 13 rebounds and 4 steals to record a decent amount.

It was a positive prelude to the Bulls’ eight-hour flight to Paris against the Pistons on Thursday.

“We came out from the beginning and competed,” said Vucevic. On the field he was 18-for-31 and three-pointers at range he was 5-for-10. “The start of the game was a big problem for us. [today] We came out and played really well. ”

Vucevic scored 12 points in the first quarter to help the Bulls open up an early 17-point lead. But they gave up that comfortable margin after scoring his 42-for-24 in the second quarter.

But aside from that 12-minute period, the Bulls had a consistent defense. They entered the passing lane, leading to 12 steals and an 18-point transition. And with the help of Vucevic’s afternoon career, the Bulls edged the Warriors 56-34 in the paint.

“They fled,” said Bucevic. “They are a very good team.

The Bulls needed a great performance from Vucevic and a strong performance from guard Zach LaVine as forward DeMar DeRozan missed three straight games with a strained right quadriceps.

Lavigne’s 3-point shot didn’t go down — he was 1-for-8 from the deep — but he was able to get to the rim. He shot 12-for-14 from the free-throw line and finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

Bucevic had a double-double in every game in January. One Sunday was his ninth straight loss since the Bulls lost to the Cavaliers on New Year’s Eve. He also had one triple-double during that stretch.

“It has to be a team effort to slow down.” [Vucevic] Go down and connect the game,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. They seem to have had seven or eight stampede fast breaks that ended in layups or dunks. ”

The Warriors allowed 31 points in 23 turnovers. Klay Thompson scored 26 and Stephen Curry scored 20.

Thursday’s game against the Pistons will be the Bulls’ third game in Paris. The last time was in his 1997 preseason, during his second three-peat.

But Vucevic declined to compare this Bulls team to one led by Michael Jordan.

“I don’t like comparing the best of basketball to anyone, but it would be fun to go back there,” Vucevic said. “Paris is a great city. Fans love basketball games.

The Bulls flew straight to the airport from the United Center, but everyone’s flight plans varied.

Coach Billy Donovan was quick to answer questions about his plans.

“A lot of movies,” he said.

LaVine said he drinks red wine.

After the big game, Bucevic wanted to curl up with a good book.

“I want to be able to drink melatonin, read my book, get a good six or seven hours of sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed,” Bucevich said.

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