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Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen accept blame for another crushing meltdown

Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen

The Chicago Bulls suffered another defeat on Sunday, this time at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, 115-101. It was the same story for a hapless Chicago side, who once again played poorly in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a victory for Giannis Antetokounmpo and company.

Following the defeat, Bulls star guard Zach LaVine was more than willing to take the blame for another disappointing loss.

“They got the MVP over there. He did his thing. And we didn’t,” LaVine said, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. “It’s going to be tough when your leading players, me and Lauri, don’t perform at our level. You can understand that. You’re missing a lot of points and a lot of plays. We understand we have to pick it up.”

LaVine had another awful shooting night against Milwaukee, going 4-of-16 from the floor for 11 points, along with two 3-pointers, eight rebounds, four assists, and three turnovers in 28 minutes of play.

For his part, Bulls prized big man Lauri Markkanen (nine points on 2-of-12 shooting, 0-of-4 from distance) also admitted his shortcomings. According to the 22-year-old, he understands that he is in a slump right now, and that he needs to work extremely hard in order to help his team.

“It’s frustrating knowing I’ve never had this kind of stretch of not even not hitting 3s but missing layups and dunks,” he said. “I have to keep my head up knowing that you work too hard for this not to turn around. Keep working and I know it’s going to turn around.

“I noticed myself kind of thinking too much at the half. I tried to switch it up and make the plays for the team. That’s how you get out of your own head. I have to stay aggressive. Create contact and then finish every shot. Not getting out of it too early or anything like that. I’ve done my film study. Put the work in and I know it’s going to turn around.”

With this most recent defeat, the Bulls are now 4-10 to start the new season, and are quickly heading to another lottery-bound finish for the 2019-20 campaign.