The Bulls surrendered a season-high in points, suffered the largest margin of defeat in the Tom Thibodeau era, while also allowing the most points during his tenure as they fell 128-96 to the Denver Nuggets.
The Bulls (29-20) also allowed a season-high for field goals made (50), field goal percentage (58), 64 points in the paint and allowed 28 points off of their 15 turnovers.
“They came in at the start of the third quarter, just smoked us and they played very good defense, and they had 37 in the third and got a big cushion, and that was the game,” Thibodeau said. “Until we change [the defense], the result’s not going to be good. We’re trying to make it an offensive game and the ball’s going wherever they want the ball to go. We’re not containing the ball, not keeping it out of the paint, not challenging shots, not rebounding the ball – very difficult to win like that.”
It was the second straight game giving up over 100 points for the Bulls as they were coming in off a 111-101 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Daequan Cook led the Bulls with 19 points, while Carlos Boozer scored 18. Joakim Noah returned after a three-game absence to two points and five rebounds in 23 minutes of action.
“What we have to do to win is defend, rebound, keep our turnovers down, inside-out and share the ball,” Thibodeau said, reciting his principles for giving his team a chance to win. “When we start making it up, we start taking shortcuts, we’re going to get our [expletive] kicked.”
Kenneth Faried led the Nuggets (32-18) with 21 points on nine-of-10 shooting and 12 rebounds. Wilson Chandler scored 24 off their bench, connecting on all five of his three-pointers.
The Bulls will face the Utah Jazz (28-22) tonight.