A few days after getting a win overseas in Paris, the Chicago Bulls returned to the States to begin a relatively un-daunting stretch.
It began with a home tilt against the Atlanta Hawks, which went back and forth at times. In the end, it was the Bulls who had the bigger fourth quarter when the game was tied heading into the final chapter.
Chicago won by a score of 111-100 after dominating the fourth quarter, where DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine combined to score 17 points in closing time.
Speaking of DeRozan, he was the man of the hour Monday night, as he had played in his 1,000th career game.
DeMar DeRozan played in his 1,000th game and the Chicago Bulls got a boost from their big three
DeRozan finished the game with a game-high 26 points on 11-for-21 shooting.
One other note… center Nikola Vucevic is playing maybe the best basketball of his Bulls career. He has now notched 11-straight double-doubles after putting up 14 points and 17 boards against the Hawks.
Also, impressively enough, Vucevic is averaging 4.0 assists in his last 10 games. He’s been on a tear lately, and the Bulls’ “big three” continue to play fairly good basketball since that embarrassment against Minnesota back in December.
Aside from DeRozan and Vucevic, this was a nice night from Patrick Williams, who totaled 18 points and 10 boards. LaVine finished with 20 points, six boards and a pair of steals.
The Bulls have now won three games in a row and they head to take on the Indiana Pacers, who happen to be reeling at the moment. If Chicago can beat Indiana, they’ll be one win away from breaking even at .500 and will continue to climb the playoff ladder out East.
The Bulls are in a spot where they can easily win the next three games and go to 25-24, putting them right inside the thick of the play-in tournament.