It was a big night for the city. The Chicago Bulls opened up the United Center for the first time in the regular season, taking on the New Orleans Pelicans.
Entering the game winning the opener against Detroit, the Bulls looked to start the season with a pair of victories — and they did just that, with a 128-112 win over New Orleans.
This matchup would feature a juicy storyline, as point guard Lonzo Ball took on his former team for the first time since joining Chicago.
Ball finished the game with a triple-double, assuring fans he was, indeed, the exact player these Bulls needed at the point guard position. Ball’s 17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and a block were as good of evidence as it could get.
While Ball was effective all over for the Bulls, this game was also dominated by a pair of veteran wings, who took over the game at different times.
Chicago Bulls veterans Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan gave the New Orleans Pelicans fits all night long.
In the first half, Zach LaVine was held scoreless until there were just six minutes left in the second quarter. From there, he went off.
LaVine scored 20 points in those final six minutes of the second quarter, and the Bulls took a commanding lead into halftime. As usual, LaVine was scoring from everywhere — beyond the arc and throwing it down.
DeMar DeRozan poured in 15 points over the first half, but some of his more impressive work came after that point.
Fast forward to the second half, and DeRozan started to get hot again. He began working the baseline with some nasty pull-ups and fadeaway jumpers. On a couple of occasions, DeRozan had a hand in his face and drilled a beautiful mid-range jumper — while absorbing the foul, too.
LaVine ended the night with 32 points, six boards and five assists while shooting 6-of-9 from three. DeRozan, meanwhile finished with 26 points, six boards and four assists. Together, these two looked borderline unstoppable.
The Bulls finally have another star next to LaVine, who can take a little pressure off. DeRozan looked plenty comfortable out there, and there’s no doubt that he’s a guy who can pick up any slack if LaVine is having an off night — and vice versa.
Some questioned the pairing when the Bulls first signed DeRozan, but through two games, these two have looked perfectly fine playing together. The win over Detroit wasn’t too pretty, but Friday night’s game against New Orleans was a much bigger celebration.
As the season goes on, DeRozan and LaVine will only continue to build more chemistry together, along with the rest of their teammates. Already, the ball movement is excellent and these Bulls look like they can score with the best in the league based on this performance.