The Chicago Bulls turned a 23-point halftime deficit against the Memphis Grizzlies into a 128-107 victory.
“When a team shoot the ball like that, you just want to stay the course, man,” Coby White told the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast crew. “Stick to our principles. Obviously, take away the three. But keep closing out, keep putting a hand up, and it evened out.”
Memphis went 13-for-25 from deep in the first half only to shoot 6-for-18 in the second act.
But it didn’t just happen, and it’s not the only time the Bulls have shown such resolve in recent outings – a noted turn of events from earlier in the season.
“I think we just got tired of losing like that. I felt like a part of was we was beating ourselves instead of actually losing the game. And actually, since we added [Patrick Beverley], he’s been a big help in that area. Giving us encouragement, positivity, and – him being a veteran – just leaning on him. So he’s been a big help in that area for us.”
They are 4-3 in clutch games since and 12-7 with Beverley overall.
Billy Donovan Quotes Patrick Beverley
Their overtaking of the Grizzlies won’t show up in those stats but Billy Donovan did quote the veteran during the former’s postgame press conference.
“He’s great,” Donovan said via the Bulls’ Twitter feed. “Like he said, ‘You’ve got to embrace adversity’. And I’m totally in agreement with that. We’ve got to embrace this, it’s a struggle right now.”
Donovan was referring to Beverley’s postgame comments following a win over the Miami Heat on March 18 that saw a 27-point lead cut to just three points in the fourth quarter.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Beverley said after that game, via a video shared by Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “You can’t beat every team by 20, 30 [points]. Any adversity we face is good [because] it’s going and it’s going to help us throughout the playoffs.”
The win got the Bulls within one half-game of the Atlanta Hawks for the ninth seed pending the latter’s matchup against the struggling Dallas Mavericks as well. An Atlanta loss would give the Bulls the spot by virtue of their conference record with a head-to-head tilt on April 4 serving as the regular-season series tie-breaker.
Beverley finished with two points, three assists, and two rebounds showing that his impact goes far beyond filling up the stat sheet.
Coby White’s Breakout Continues
White finished the game with 19 points on over 61% shooting with six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and zero turnovers continuing a strong stretch from the fourth-year guard and soon-to-be restricted free agent.
He’s averaging 14 points with 5.3 assists to 1.4 turnovers with 3.7 boards while shooting 52.7% from the floor and 47.5% from beyond the arc over the last 11 games.
“I’m just trusting the work. Coach is putting the ball in my hands a little bit more and trusting me. So I think I’ve earned his trust a little bit with the ball in my hands so I’m thankful for that. …It starts in the summer. I knew I needed to get a lot stronger. Last year I struggled when bigger wings or bigs tried to post me up. And so I focused on my lower body a lot this [past] summer and having a better base so it’s been beneficial for me this year.”
“He’s been great, I give him a lot of [credit],” Donovan said. “And it’s not just the shooting. It’s the competitiveness, it’s the spirit, it’s the things that he’s doing that are impacting winning. And I think he’s learned and grown a lot over a short time in the NBA. I’m really happy for him because of how hard he’s worked.”