Derozan and Vucevic Combine for 50 in Bulls’ 110-107 Edge Over Trail Blazers


On Monday night, DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points and set up Nikola Vucevic for a key hook shot with 9.3 seconds left. This helped the Chicago Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-107.

Alex Caruso, DeRozan’s partner, said, “Sometimes it’s more than just making a shot.” DeRozan played a game-high 40 minutes. “They’re crashing hard when they box out against us.” We’re still ahead by three points thanks to Vooch’s layup on the off-ball down low. He always wants to win.

Vucevic scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help Chicago win its third game in a row. Ayo Dosunmu had 23 points and 10 helpers in the end.

Portland’s Anfernee Simons scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, but he missed a 3-point shot from the top of the key before time ran out. Deandre Ayton scored 25 points and grabbed 15 boards in a game that was his sixth straight with 20 or more points.

Their seventh loss in nine games was a bad one.

“Maybe a half second,” Simons said when asked how close he was to making the last shot. “We had a few good chances, but they didn’t go our way.”

It was the Bulls’ 24th clutch win, which means they are now 34-35 and within one game of.500. A clutch win is when the game is tied at five points with less than five minutes left. But in the last quarter, they were defeated 32–21.

“We stopped caring about the ball and stopped being so aggressive,” DeRozan said. “We charged them, slowed them down, and let them make layups.” A little bit, we let go of the rope.

Each team didn’t have its second-best scorer on the field. In the last three games, Bulls guard Coby White missed them all because of a right hip strain. Portland’s Jerami Grant missed their fourth straight game because of a right leg strain.

While White wasn’t there, Dosunmu ran the offense and made 9 of 17 shots from the field. He scored 34 points, which was the most in his career, in Saturday night’s 127-98 win over Washington.

Portland had their first lead since the beginning of the game when Simons made a disputed 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:32 left in the fourth. The score was 105–104. But Simons’ possible game-winning shot from far away missed the mark with 34 seconds left.

With 9.3 seconds left, Vucevic’s turnaround hook shot made it 108-105. Caruso then fouled Simons on purpose to put him at the free throw line instead of giving him a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer on the next possession.

“That was a really smart play,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “We talked about getting three fouls.”

Portland had the third-most fouls in the NBA going into Monday, and its mistakes hurt them again. The Bulls scored 19 points off of 13 Blazers mistakes. With 3:15 left in the third, Chicago was ahead 82–66 thanks to a driving Vucevic dunk on a fast break that started with a save by Torrey Craig.

“It was just a bad night for us to pass,” Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “I don’t think we played very well near the end of the game when it mattered the most.”

The Trail Blazers will play their first of two straight home games against the Clippers on Wednesday.

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