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Bulls-Bucks: Chicago tries to scrape its dignity off the ground in Game 4

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Whatever ground the Bulls might have seemed to have gained over the Bucks with a 114-110 win in Game 2 of the teams first-round playoff series, they gave it all — and more — from start to finish. end of an indescribable foul performance in Game 3. Was it really only 111-81? Because it looked more like 181-11.

But it wasn’t just the Bulls who were “giving,” of course. There were also plenty of Bucks, and the defending league champions have never looked so greedy.

And now ? Do the Bulls still have a chance of a draw in Sunday’s Game 4 at the United Center? Or is this thing almost over, Khris Middleton healthy or, as it is, not?

“If we stick to our game plan and execute like we’re supposed to,” Zach LaVine said, “I think we’ll be fine.”

Yeah, well, few of us would have imagined the Bulls would follow a road win with the worst home playoff loss in franchise history.

“A loss is a loss,” DeMar DeRozan said. “With this, we have to come back anyway and protect the floor of our house, you know?” … Now we have the opportunity to match that stuff on Sunday on our home court, and that’s what we’re going to do.

It looks like a plan, if not a guarantee. But a plan that will actually, ahem, work? That’s a very different question. And here’s what happens:

SUN 24

Bucks at Bulls, Game 4 (noon, Ch. 7)

Not telling Bulls coach Billy Donovan how to do his job, but we suggest composing a game plan that doesn’t involve falling behind by three touchdowns in the first quarter.

Heat at Hawks, Game 4 (6 p.m., TNT)

Will Trae Young and the Hawks really tie things up and make it a series? And why are we suddenly imagining Jimmy Butler lifting a chair in the visitors’ locker room?

Suns at Pelicans, Game 4 (8:30 p.m., TNT)

Things got spicy between these teams in Game 3, with the Suns being pushed harder than they probably expected. Another forearm thrill or two and we’ll really have something here.

MON 25

Celtics at Nets, Game 4 (6 p.m., TNT)

It’s utter desperation mode for Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and a Brooklyn team many considered title favorites – and that was before Ben Simmons’ huge contributions.

Flyers at Blackhawks (7 p.m., ESPN+, Hulu)

Let’s be honest: if these teams switched uniforms before the third period, would anyone notice?

TUE 26

Eloy Jimenez walks away with a bum hammy.

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Royals at White Sox (6:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Lately, the Sox can’t hit the ball, field the ball, stay healthy, or avoid being suspended. Other than that, it’s a well-oiled machine.

Meals to the Cardinals (6:45 p.m., TBS)

For whom are the Mets, the best team in baseball? Blink and you’ll miss at least two RBIs by Pete Alonso.

WED 27

Bulls at Bucks, Game 5 (TBD)

At least the Bulls know they can win at the Fiserv Forum. After all, they’ve done it – oh, boy – once in their last eight tries.

GAME 28

Royals at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

OK, so that’s a little unconventional, but maybe the Sox can avert a disaster or two if Tony La Russa starts benching players for shoving the first base line?

Cubs at Braves (6:20 p.m., marquee)

We don’t know what’s going to happen, though it probably won’t involve Anthony Rizzo throwing at Freddie Freeman or chasing him in a preview and yelling “Frederick!” Sigh.

FRI 29

Chicago Blackhawks vs Los Angeles Kings

We have seen enough.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Blackhawks at Sabers (6 p.m., NBCSCH)

Is it already here? Boy, the good times just passed by. Enjoy the season finale, puckheads.

Cubs at Brewers (7:10 p.m., marquee)

The Cubs are off to a 2-1 start in the season series, but still have a long way to go to make up for last year’s 3-13 debacle.

Bucks at Bulls, Game 6, if necessary (TBD)

Necessary or not, who are we kidding? It is necessary.

SAT 30

Angels at White Sox (3:05 p.m., FS1, NBCSCH)

People continue to grieve Angels manager Joe Maddon for intentionally kicking his pitcher in the other day. At least he didn’t drag a clown or a magician or a zoo animal out of the bullpen to do it.

Louisville Race to the Red Stars (7 p.m., Paramount+)

The regular season begins, and everyone is talking about the Red Stars’ new “Skyscraper” kits. At least everyone who knows how to find a Red Stars game on Paramount+ does.

Red Bulls at Fire (7 p.m., Ch. 9)

You have to like the Fire’s chances of avoiding defeat if they use their usual strategy: “We promise not to score if you don’t.”