The Chicago Bulls faced a challenging start, scoring a mere 14 points in the entire first quarter and finding themselves in a 12-point deficit. The second quarter continued to be a struggle as the Oklahoma City Thunder extended their lead to 18 points. However, Ayo Dosunmu's dunk off a steal and a remarkable performance from Coby White, who scored 18 points with four three-pointers, sparked a Bulls' rally. By halftime, they trailed 50-39, with the Thunder displaying a cohesive offensive effort.
Despite DeMar DeRozan initially contributing only four points in the first half, he responded emphatically in the second. Drawing fouls and sinking a technical shot, DeRozan's 12 points in the third quarter played a crucial role in narrowing the gap to seven points. As Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and others fueled the Thunder's scoring, DeRozan's efforts kept the Bulls competitive, setting the stage for an intriguing final frame.