Down 3-1 in their best-of-seven series and missing two of their most important players, the Chicago Bulls saw their 2021-22 season come to an end on Wednesday night with a blowout 116-100 loss at the hands of the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bulls had to play Wednesday’s Game 5 without Zach LaVine, who is in the league’s health-and-safety protocols, and without Alex Caruso, who is in the league’s concussion protocols.
Patrick Williams scored a team-high 23 points, and Nikola Vucevic scored 19 points and hauled down 16 rebounds in the losing effort.
Coby White buried four three-pointers and scored 17 points, while Troy Brown Jr. scored 10 points and added six rebounds off the bench.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo had yet another strong game with 33 points and nine rebounds, while making 11-of-15 field goals in an efficient effort on the night. Pat Connaughton had 20 points off the bench, and four of the Bucks’ five starters reached double-figures, including Bobby Portis with 14 points.
With the absences of LaVine and Caruso looming large, the Bulls found themselves down 16 after just one quarter of play, and things didn’t improve much from there as the Bucks steamrolled their way into the second round of the postseason.
The third quarter got off to a good start for the Bulls, who trimmed the Milwaukee lead to 11 points when Ayo Dosunmu converted an and-one situation.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the Bucks proceeded to go on a 25-13 run to end the third quarter, with Bobby Portis making a key pair of three-pointers and Wesley Matthews bombing in a three-pointer from 27 feet out to give Milwaukee back a 22-point lead.
The Bulls have not won a playoff series since the 2014-15 season, when they beat the Bucks before being eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round.
As for the Bucks, they will move onto the second round of the playoffs, where they will matchup with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics, the Eastern Conference’s second seed, swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs.