OKLAHOMA CITY (CBS/AP) — The Bulls played their best first half of basketball of the season Monday night, but that was only half the story.
The other half of the story is that they still lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Midway through the second quarter, the Bulls had led by 26. But Chris Paul hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and the Thunder beat the Bulls 109-106.
Paul took over in the fourth, going 5 for 5 from deep and scoring 19 of his 30 points. His fourth 3-pointer of the quarter put Oklahoma City ahead 101-100, its first lead since the opening seconds. Paul also had nine rebounds and 10 assists.
The Bulls tied it at 106 before Steven Adams put the Thunder ahead with a free throw and Paul added two more in the final five seconds.
Chicago led 55-29 midway through the second quarter by turning 12 Thunder turnovers into 26 points. Zach LaVine scored 17 points, Wendell Carter Jr. had 12 and Ryan Arcidiacono added 10 while the Bulls shot 58% in the half. LaVine finished with 39 points.
The Thunder pulled within 19 at halftime, with Danilo Gallinari keeping them close with 17 first-half points. Oklahoma City whittled it down to eight after three quarters and an 8-0 run in the final minute of the period.
Gallinari finished with 22 points and Dennis Schroder had 18 off the bench for the Thunder.
Bulls: Chicago had 10 steals in the first 16 minutes, adding to their league-leading total. The Bulls finished with 17 and have 14 games with at least 10 steals this season.
Thunder; Terrance Ferguson returned to the starting lineup after missing five games with a sore hip. He hit a 3-pointer with his first shot and was 4 of 7 from deep while totaling 12 points.
Bulls: Visit Washington on Wednesday night.
Thunder: Host Memphis on Wednesday night.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)