Two days ago, the Chicago Bulls took down the number one seed in the Eastern Conference for the second time this season. This time, it was on the road and the Bulls were down double digits in the third quarter.
The Brooklyn Nets were maintaining control, while it felt as though the game was right there for the taking. All the Bulls needed was someone to step up and snatch it.
During the fourth quarter, it was all DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. Specifically, DeRozan poured in 15 points by himself that quarter. The Bulls took the lead and the win.
Meanwhile, DeRozan and LaVine found themselves in rare company after their big win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Chicago Bulls stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan have now joined elite company with their performances so far.
LaVine scored 31 while DeRozan finished with 29 against the Nets. This gave the duo their 11th game where both topped the 25-point mark this season. Per Statitudes, the last duo to accomplish such a feat was Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal back in 2000-2001.
That means these two have done something not even LeBron James accomplished with Dwyane Wade or Kyrie Irving. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson? Nope. Not even those guys have done what DeRozan and LaVine have done this season.
Think back to some of the most iconic duos over the past 20 years, and none of them have done what we’re seeing in Chicago this season. It is truly remarkable.
The best part about this? DeRozan is scoring a lot of his points in the fourth quarter — so many, that he’s become the number one fourth quarter scorer in the NBA. The performance against Brooklyn was nothing new. In fact, it was the second game in a row he took over and led the Bulls to a win late in the game.
DeRozan has scored 178 points in the fourth quarter this season, good for first in the league. He’s averaging 7.7 points in the fourth while having made 63 field goals, both first in the league.
The Bulls are +69 with DeRozan in the fourth quarter, which is the highest +/- by any player with 200 or more minutes (Statmuse).
We are now at the point where DeRozan should be right below Curry in the MVP conversation.
Just a few short months ago, experts were criticizing the Bulls’ signing DeRozan as the worst move of the offseason. Now, he has proven every single one of them wrong and, along with LaVine, is part of the league’s top scoring duo.
To start the season, there was kind of a vibe around the basketball world that felt “cute.” The Bulls were back — but it was early.
You know what else is cute? German Shepherd puppies.
It’s no longer cute. This is a team that the rest of the Eastern Conference should fear. We are late enough in the season. The Bulls are a team that has proven they can battle through adversity and, not just hang with the best of them, but beat them.