Summer League: Second-Half Surge Sends Bulls Past Spurs, 92-89

By Kyle Brown | August 10, 2021



The Chicago Bulls stormed back in the second half to grab a 92-89 win against the San Antonio Spurs in the Bulls’ second game of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, NV on Tuesday. Chicago’s second-year forward Patrick Williams led all scorers with 30 points as the Bulls erased a 15-point halftime deficit.

After trailing by as much as 22 points in the second quarter, the Bulls used a strong third quarter to grab the momentum. The team rattled off a 13-2 run early in the third to cut the deficit to six points with 6:46 left to play in the quarter.

Former Windy City Bulls standout Simi Shittu stuffed the stat sheet in the third quarter, recording two points, two rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block in the ten-minute period as the Bulls clawed their way back to trail by just three heading into the final ten minutes.

The Bulls started the fourth quarter with a quick seven-point burst to grab a four-point lead – one they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. The Bulls’ lead stretched as high as ten points midway through the final period. The Spurs were able to get within a single point – trailing Chicago 88-87 with 1:13 left in the game – but a pair of quick buckets by Williams in the final minute helped seal the win for the Bulls.

The Bulls’ defense was key in turning the game around. Chicago managed 10 steals, compared to just three by San Antonio. Forcing live-ball turnovers got the Bulls into the open floor, where they outscored the Spurs in transition points 22-9.

On the other side of the ball, Chicago protected possession, committing five fewer turnovers than San Antonio. Devon Dotson’s passing was on display against the Spurs, tallying five assists without committing a turnover. This came after Dotson – a Bulls two-way contract – scored a team-high 16 points in his first Summer League game on Monday.

Marko Simonovic, a rookie from Montenegro, was the Bulls’ second-leading scorer with 13 points. Ayo Dosunmu, a second-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, finished with ten points for Chicago.

As a team, the Bulls were more efficient on outside shooting. Chicago and San Antonio each knocked down eight three-pointers, but the Bulls did so on 17 attempts while the Spurs took 26 shots from beyond the arc.

The Bulls are back in action on Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. CT in the Bulls’ third game of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.