Bulls lack energy, DeRozan feeling the pain after fourth straight loss

Ever have one of those days when you felt like staying in bed and putting no effort into anything?

Well, that's what the Bulls looked like, collectively as a team, on Monday at the United Center. No life, little energy, compounding mistakes. It led to their fourth straight loss, 100-91 to the Orlando Magic.

Sometimes, the Bulls would get a short burst started, but it never lasted very long. Most of the time, pushing the pace and sharing the ball is enough to get this team on the right track.

The Bulls set season-lows for 3-point baskets and percentage by going 3-for-21 from long range. The Bulls had just tied their season-low point total on Saturday, scoring 89 in a loss at Cleveland. And during the previous four games, they shot a miserable 22.1% from 3-point range.

What is going on with this team? The Bulls went 16-for-35 from 3-point range in an easy victory on Jan. 28 at Orlando.

"Just getting stagnant, turning the ball over at a high rate," DeMar DeRozan said after the game. "Those two things have been killing us. We give team's defense more confident when we do things like that. They pick it up, get more aggressive with it and that's all on us.

"I think we've just got to mellow back down and get back to us understanding that we can score the ball at a high rate."

Another obvious issue is DeRozan hasn't been himself. He scored 19 points with 6 assists in this game, hitting 8 of 20 shots.

He's missed games over the past two months with what was termed a quad strain and sore hip, but Monday he talked about dealing with one, long strange injury that isn't getting better. DeRozan is planning to visit the doctor Tuesday before the team leaves for Indianapolis.

"It's been bad, to be honest with you," DeRozan said of the injury. "It's been bad. I've never been one to complain or make any type of excuses. It's just been something I've been dealing with for a while.

"It probably happened 10 games before the Boston game (on Jan. 9). It was just something I was playing on. I thought it was like a knee contusion or whatever it was. I don't know, it's a weird feeling. I've never felt nothing like this. When I'm sitting doing nothing, I don't feel anything. It's just when I do anything to work that muscle in my leg, it's just a lot of discomfort."

Alex Caruso didn't play Monday after aggravating his foot injury, and Derrick Jones Jr. was sidelined after playing nine minutes, due to a left adductor strain.

As a result, rookie Dalen Terry saw his first extended playing time since December and helped create a bit of a spark, but it usually fizzled out as quickly as it arrived.

The Bulls were 0-for-16 from 3-point range late in the third quarter, threatening to be shut out from long range for the first time in 13 years, when Coby White finally connected with 1:38 left in the quarter.

For the record, the Bulls went 0-for-10 from behind the arc in Atlanta on Feb. 5, 2010. John Salmons had the most misses that night with 3.

White had been in a slump of his own, going 2-for-21 from 3-point range over the past five games before finally connecting. Those White-hot shooting games from the first two years of his NBA career feel like a distant memory.

Down 13 with 5:07 left, the Bulls mounted one last rally, got within 5 and drew some enthusiasm from the crowd. But White got toasted on defense a couple of times, then Patrick Williams drove the baseline and threw a pass right into the chest of Franz Wagner for a turnover. A 3-pointer by rookie-of-the-year favorite Paolo Banchero put the Magic up by 9 with 1:02 left to essentially settle the outcome.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 26 points, while Banchero scored 22 for Orlando. The Bulls have two games left before the all-star break - Wednesday at Indiana and Thursday at home against Milwaukee.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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Orlando Magic's Franz Wagner scores as Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan, left, and Goran Dragic watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, in Chicago. The Magic won 100-91. Associated Press
Chicago Bulls' Ayo Dosunmu, left, and Orlando Magic's Gary Harris battle for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, in Chicago. Associated Press
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