Russell Westbrook dipped, shot and swished from the charity stripe to put the Thunder up one with about three minutes remaining before halftime.
The Bulls outscored the Thunder by 29 points the rest of the game and won 128-100. Oklahoma City has dropped three straight; all three double-digit losses and without Enes Kanter.
The Bulls (25-25) led 55-47 at halftime and scored 39 and 34 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. OKC’s offense once again struggled and it translated to a poor defensive effort and missed assignments.
Westbrook scored 28 points, grabbed five rebounds and had eight assists. Jerami Grant scored 15 points and Victor Oladipo scored 12. Domantas Sabonis and Steven Adams had poor games. Sabonis scored two points on 1-of-10 shooting and Adams scored eight points on 3-of-7 shooting.
The bench scored 45 points tonight, but they played a majority of the fourth quarter and didn’t have an affect on the outcome. The Thunder’s defense looked lethargic and legs looked tired after Tuesday’s loss in San Antonio.
The Thunder are the second-worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA, yet they shot 37 three-pointers and only made 10 (27 percent). The Bulls are the worst 3-point shooting team in the league, but they shot 6-of-15 (40 percent).
The Thunder couldn’t stop the Bulls offensive attack. Jimmy Butler has 28 points and Dwyane Wade scored 18. OKC took 19 more shots than Chicago but made 11 less baskets than Chicago. The Bulls shot 60.5 percent from the field and were 24-of-30 at the free throw line.
Anthony Morrow and Cameron Payne were a combined 6-of-21 shooting with seven points each. Josh Huestis scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting but no one has filled Kanter’s role since his injury.
Late in the first half, Westbrook appeared to hit knees with Butler. He walked it off and played the second half but looked concerned initially after the contact.
Up next, the Thunder (28-22) play the Memphis Grizzlies inside Chesapeake Energy Arena at 7 p.m. Friday.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Defend the rim: C-
OKC was outscored 50-44 in the paint. The Bulls were able to get shots at the rim anytime Adams was off the floor and when he was on the floor, they would run a pick-and-roll at the top of the key to try and get him away from the basket. The Thunder did not defend the paint well.
Go fast: D-
The Thunder scored 18 fast break points but let the Bulls score 28. One of the older teams in the league ran past the Thunder like they were a local junior high team. OKC looked tired, especially in the second half. It was OKC’s third game in four days.
Bench scoring: B-
The bench scored 45 points but most of it came in garbage time. Seven points came from Huestis, Payne and Morrow. Grant scored 15, but the entire bench unit misses Kanter’s offensive production greatly. It may take a while for the bench to find its identity, but the quicker the better for OKC.