and the San Antonio Spurs used a huge fourth quarter to beat the Chicago Bulls 106-99 on Wednesday night.
The Spurs trailed by 23 in the second quarter and were down 58-40 after their lowest-scoring first half of the season. But they dominated Chicago 39-19 in the fourth to come away with their second straight win after losing three of four.
Derrick White scored 17 points — nine in the final quarter. Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson and Patty Mills each scored 14. Mills also had two steals, and the Spurs came out on top even though they made just 8 of 31 3-pointers.
“We played two great defensive quarters in the second half, spurred on by Patty Mills’ aggressiveness, and it just seemed to infect everybody else,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “Offensively, we made a few shots, which we did not do in the first half. Jakob had a wonderful game.”
Zach LaVine led Chicago with 29 points after scoring 40 the previous night in a win over Oklahoma City. Thaddeus Young, playing his 1,000th game, scored 16. And rookie Patrick Williams grabbed a personal-best 14 rebounds.
“You’re (ticked) off,” LaVine said. “I don’t know how anybody else feels. I know how I feel. It’s upsetting. You feel the momentum shift in the game, and sometimes, you can’t do a lot about it. I think I’ve got to take better responsibility, myself, as a leader of the team to try to get guys together.”
The Bulls led 80—67 through three quarters, only to have San Antonio open the fourth on a 12-0 run. Chicago responded with a 9-2 spurt. But the Spurs reeled off 17 in a row.
Dejounte Murray gave them a 90-89 lead with a floater in transition and capped the run with a 15-footer to make it 98-89 with 2:44 remaining.
One big difference for the Spurs in the second half was they went to a press.
“It’s not even about getting steals out of it,” Poeltl said. “It’s more about getting us going on defense and maybe speeding them up, forcing them to take a bad shot or two. And I think that’s really what got us going, got us to play more physical on defense. As a result of that, we got better rhythm shots on offense and they started falling.”