The Chicago Bulls (20-24, 10th in East) ended a three-game losing streak, defeating the Golden State Warriors 132-118 Sunday. The Bulls added another impressive win to the season resume, notching the first win against the Warriors since March 2017

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times

Nikola Vučević dominated for the Bulls, tying his career-high for points with 43. Vuc was lethal from all parts of the court, dropping five threes, the most of all Bulls players.

Vuc got hot in the first quarter, and the team continued to feed him down low. For a team that consistently gets outplayed in the paint, the Bulls dominated the low game. Vuc and the Bulls outscored the Warriors by 24 points in the paint.

Down the stretch, he continued adding buckets in a relatively uncompetitive home game for the Bulls. 

Nikola Vucevic’s play opens the floor for others, too. His dominance down low created space for shooters like Coby White, who was effective in the win Sunday.

White added 15 points off the bench, his third straight double-digit performance. Coby has scored 47 points in his last three games, the highest in a three-game stretch this season. White, who is still only 22 years old, was a project when the Bulls drafted him 7th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

White has shown improvement in his 4th season, despite his point-per-game averages dipping.

White’s recent play has been crucial, as DeMar DeRozan continues to deal with his quad injury that has sidelined him since the Bulls’ loss to the Boston Celtics.

Zach LaVine has been the focal point of the Bulls’ offense over the past few games, but he has struggled with efficiency. LaVine has made only 6/27 threes during the stretch, a drastic decrease in his normal success from beyond the arc.

The Bulls win Sunday still overshadows a bigger issue: the team lacks consistency.

The Bulls have stepped up to the plate against powerhouse Eastern Conference franchises like the Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. Still, the team lacks energy and focus against struggling teams, like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards, two teams the Bulls lost to in the recent three-game skid. The Bulls showcased the importance of DeRozan in the loss to the Thunder. The Thunder relied on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey, and the Bulls had zero response on both sides of the court. LaVine struggled to score in crunch time, as the Thunder dropped 33 in the fourth, while holding the Bulls to 20 points.

The young Thunder pounced on the struggling Bulls defense, driving by the primary and help defenders for easy looks down low. 

The 2022-23 Bulls’ kryptonite is trap games, or games they should win but ultimately play down to the opponents’ level.

LaVine and the Bulls can turn that around in the next five-game stretch. Four of the next five opponents are under .500 and eighth or worse in the Eastern Conference standings, including the two worst teams in the East.

The Bulls head to Paris, France for the team’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons Thursday. The Bulls and Pistons headline the first NBA game in Europe since the COVID-19 Outbreak, and the Bulls’ first trip to Paris since 1997.

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