Bulls vs. Nets takeaways: DeMar DeRozan continues to be clutched, Kevin Durant’s play is not enough to beat Chicago

NS Chicago Bulls ended their New York road trip with a tough 111-107 victory first brooklyn network on Saturday night. Bulls, who don’t have Javonte Green and White Coby because of tournament health and safety protocols and lost Alex Caruso in the first half due to a right hamstring injury, but still secured a road win over the top seeded Nets.

Do Zach LaVine’s 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as well as DeMar DeRozan’s 29 points, six rebounds and three assists, Chicago overcame a Brooklyn team led by 28 points performance from Kevin Durant, which pushed him past Ray Allen for 24th place on NBAAll-time scoring list of. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points from the bench, but that was not enough to counter the offensive firepower that Chicago had.

With the win, the Bulls are now leading a series of 2-0 against the Nets this season. right away. It was a thrilling game to the end, so here’s a look at the three main takeaways from Chicago’s win over Brooklyn on Saturday night.

1. DeRozan has another magical fourth quarter

Two nights ago, in the Bulls’ close victory New York Knicks, DeRozan won 18 of his team’s top 34 points in the fourth quarter, and it went on to make the difference in victory for Chicago. Well, fast forward to Saturday night, and it’s all Groundhog Day again, when DeRozan counted 13 fourth quarter points to put the Bulls in a position to win the game.

In two games in the fourth quarter, DeRozan scored six straight points for the Bulls, helping them to catch up with Durant and Aldridge, who worked hard to bring home the Nets victory. But time and time again, DeRozan hit his spot, whether it was on the touchline, free-throw line or his patented mid-range strike and shot on target for the Bulls. .

DeRozan’s stellar Q4 against the Nets matches up with what we’ve seen from him over the course of the season. Going into the game against Brooklyn, he tops the league in fourth-half total points (165), and he shoots absurdly 52.8% from the pitch and 45.5% from the deep. While there are several other legitimate contenders for MVP this season, DeRozan’s name should definitely be on the conversation as he has carried the Bulls in the fourth quarter on multiple occasions.

2. Bulls depth increases in victory

One of the bigger concerns about the Bulls entering the season is that they don’t have enough bench depth. Those worries have not been allayed so far this season, with the second unit sitting 28th in points per game (27.4). However, against the Nets, the bench was integral to Chicago’s win, led by rookie Ayo Dosunmu’s 11 points, in addition to By Derrick Jones Jr. eight points, four rebounds and four blocks. That production is crucial to the Bulls in this win, as it was announced earlier on Saturday that guard Javonte Green joined Coby White by participating in health and safety protocols. of the tournament.

Then, in the first half, when Alex Caruso’s solid defense fell with what the team were describing as a right hamstring injury, Chicago’s role became all the more important. That’s exactly what Dosunmu did, and he finished with the game’s highest 16 plus, and the power from the bench shines through assets like this chase block in the middle of a string. complex:

The rookie also completed a high-pressure free throw with nine seconds left to send the game out of reach for the Nets. It wasn’t just Dosunmu and Jones who stepped up. Ball, who was struggling to find a shot from long range against the Knicks, nailed a 3-clutch pointer to less than 17 seconds after Durant led Brooklyn to within two points. It’s an encouraging sign to see that Bulls playmakers can answer the call when some of the major players go down.

3. Durant doesn’t get enough help from Harden

If not for Durant’s play throughout the game, the Bulls would have won by a larger margin. Durant did all he could to keep the Nets within impressive distances to win, but aside from Aldridge being sent off the bench, he didn’t get enough help from his remaining teammates. again. Specifically from Harden, who struggled to get anything to happen and finished with 14 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.

Harden’s stat line is pretty eye-catching, but he also gets 5 out of 21 from the field and 1/5 from deep. Brooklyn isn’t going to win many games when Harden shoots so poorly, and although he did a great job in setting up his teammates on shots all night, the Nets need him to come up with bigger scoring numbers. . This has been the plot all season long for Harden and the Nets, who still haven’t Kyrie Irving. Durant did his best to carry Brooklyn on his back while Harden continued to search for his hit, but nights like these in front of Chicago show that Harden needs to find his stability sooner rather than later. than for the Nets.

On the bright side, Brooklyn hit a 16-7 record and remained a half-match ahead of the Bulls to take the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference. So it’s a bonus to know that this team can still win with Harden not playing at the level we’ve come to expect from him. The Nets are just better off hoping he can be a suitable second star alongside Durant as we head into the final stages of the season and into the knockout stages. Otherwise, the Nets wouldn’t have won as many games against the other top East region teams.

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/bulls-vs-nets-takeaways-demar-derozan-continues-to-be-clutch-kevin-durants-play-not-enough-to-beat-chicago/ Bulls vs. Nets takeaways: DeMar DeRozan continues to be clutched, Kevin Durant’s play is not enough to beat Chicago

Curtis Crabtree

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