CHICAGO – Things went so well for the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks that they shot aKemba sizzling 63.5 percent from the field and also converted a whopping 55.9 percent of their three-point attempts.

That proficiency was more than enough to carry the Bulls to a 144-115 victory over the short-handed Mavs, who were playing without three of their top eight rotation players due to minor injuries – Luka Doncic, Josh Green and Maxi Kleber.

“Sixty-four percent (from the field) and 56 percent (from three-point range),” Mavs guard Spender Dinwiddie rhetorically asked. “You’re not going to beat anybody. This is the best players in the world.

“Obviously, credit to them for hitting shots, and some of their guys maybe hitting a couple of more shots than usual. But overall our defense has to be better.”

The Mavs, of course, had legitimate excuses for their poor showing in the Windy City. Following a 9 p.m. tipoff in Dallas on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Mavs didn’t arrive at their Chicago hotel until 4 a.m. Saturday. And Saturday’s game tipped off at 7 p.m.

Thus, the Mavs unusually endured two tipoffs in less than 24 hours.

McGee“We’ve been bouncing around here,” coach Jason Kidd said. “It feels like we just played a game a couple of hours ago against Milwaukee.

“We get in here (to Chicago) at 4, but there’s no excuses. We’re professionals. We’ve got to do a job. The schedule is the schedule and you’ve got to play it.”

Here are the takeaways from the 29-point loss to the Bulls.


WALKER PRODUCED SOLID RESULTS: The Mavs’ debut of point guard Kemba Walker was a smashing success. Signed recently as a free agent, Walker played 20 minutes Saturday and finished with eight points and five assists. He also was one of only two members of the Mavs’ with a positive plus/minus. Reggie Bullock registered a plus/minus of plus three, and Walker was a plus two.

NO DONCIC, KLEBER AND GREEN: Without Luka Doncic, Maxi Kleber and Josh Green at their disposal, this was a very tough hill for the Mavs to climb. The Mavs fought a good fight in the first half when they closed an 18-point deficit to five. But the Bulls just had too much manpower for the Mavs to overcome.

A MCGEE SIGHTING: JaVale McGee hasn’t played much in recent games. But after scoring a total of 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in his previous five appearances, McGee responded with a season-high 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting on Saturday. What’s more, he was executing the type of dunks and operating nicely in the paint in a manner that landed him the opening day starting spot at the center position.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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