You can’t make this stuff up.
For the second time in just over 24 hours, a DeMar DeRozan bucket propelled the Chicago Bulls to victory at the buzzer. This time, it was DeRozan hitting a hotly contested 3-point field goal from the corner to give the Bulls a 120-119 win in a game where they barely led.
According to a tweet put out by Basketball Reference, DeRozan is the first player in NBA history to hit a game-winning buzzer-beater on back-to-back days.
DeRozan finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, and five assists and his partner in crime Zach LaVine had 35 points. The Bulls offense wasn’t great in the first half and LaVine really carried them early. The Bulls trailed for most of the game, but the key was that they stuck around and never let the Wizards build up too large of a lead.
They finally tied it with just over two minutes to play when Vucevic collected a missed free throw from DeRozan and converted on an and-1 opportunity of his own. After the Wizards scored on the next possession to take the lead, the Bulls actually took the lead on a 3-point field goal from Zach LaVine.
On the next possession, Coby White was called for a block foul on Bradley Beal which was upheld upon review. Beal hit both free throws to give the Wizards a one-point lead once again. On the next possession, DeMar DeRozan missed a mid-range shot that he normally always makes.
Zach LaVine stunned with an emphatic block from behind on the following possession to prevent the Wizards from retaking the lead. After the Wizards denied a LaVine mini fastbreak on the other end by slapping it out of Zach’s hands, DeRozan drew a foul off an inbounds play. The play was reviewed and DeMar DeRozan ended up hitting both free throws.
Kuzma had been hot all night, but missed a long 3-point field goal which preserved the Bulls 117-116 lead. The Bulls couldn’t convert on the other end giving the Wizards one more opportunity to reclaim the victory in this game.
This time Kuzma hit an even longer 3-pointer to give them a 119-117 lead. But the excitement of that shot quickly faded away when DeRozan hit an even bigger one seconds later.
Call it a New Year’s Eve hangover, a trap game, or whatever but the Bulls made this game against the Wizards a lot harder than it had to be.
It’s difficult to win when it takes until 4:20 left in the third quarter for somebody on your bench to score, but that’s exactly what the Bulls did. Granted, they still have a lot of their key guys out which doesn’t help bench production, but the Bulls still only got six points from their entire bench tonight.
The Bulls also only had 30 points in the paint the whole game to the Wizards 72, but were able to negate that with 17 3-point field goals.
Thankfully, there are no asterisks or style points when it comes to victories in the NBA, and the Chicago Bulls are again in the win column. In case you haven’t heard, the Bulls have the best record in the Eastern Conference and rung in the New Year in possibly the most exciting way possible.
It’s a great time to be a fan of the Chicago Bulls.