The Chicago Bulls' dynamic duo of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine continue to pile up the points as they propel their squad to a 10-4 start to the season.
Against the Los Angeles Lakers at STAPLES Center, the Bulls wing tandem were cooking again, combining for 64 points in a 121-103 victory to hand the Lakers their fourth loss from their past seven games.
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DeRozan and LaVine combined for 39 points in the first half alone, burying seven 3-pointers between them.
DeRozan continued his scoring spree in the second half, finishing with a season-high 38 points on 15-of-23 from the field, while LaVine finished with 26 points. Just for good measure, Lonzo Ball joined the bucket-fest, adding 27 points on the night.
DeMar DeRozan has his 4th 35-point game of the month, tying a career high.- StatMuse (@statmuse) November 16, 2021
It's only halfway through November. pic.twitter.com/sdZIECX9Js
In the third quarter, DeRozan was unstoppable, scoring 14 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting as the Bulls outscored the Lakers 37-25 to take control of the game. While he wasn't needed down the stretch in a blowout tonight, he's been the difference-maker for the Bulls this season, with his late-game execution making a huge impact.
DeMar DeRozan scored a season high 38 points vs the Lakers.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 16, 2021
He was 10-15 off the dribble, the most unassisted makes by a single player vs LAL this season, and did most of his damage against Carmelo Anthony (12 points on 4-6 shooting). pic.twitter.com/S3bNLQfEKj
No one has scored more points in the fourth quarter of games this season than DeRozan (105), with the four-time All-Star closing out games at a wildly efficient rate, connecting on an absurd 40-of-67 (59.7 percent) from the field and 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) from the 3-point line, while LaVine isn't too far behind him sitting fourth (81) in the league, per NBA Stats.
After his three-year stint in San Antonio, DeRozan has been rejuvenated in Chicago, playing winning basketball as the leader of a young team with high ambitions this season.
"People saying I was washed for the last few years. The narrative of 'won't fit' - I can find all type of chips that I use as my motivation," DeRozan said following the win over the Lakers.
"I just want to be a winner and enjoy this ride."
Come on, man 😳@NBCSChicago | @DeMar_DeRozan pic.twitter.com/8ipSUFtuMR- Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 16, 2021
We're only 14 games into the season, of course, and maintaining this level of production is going to be tough for the Bulls duo as recent history shows.
In the past 10 seasons, only nine sets of teammates have both finished top 10 in scoring, while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are the only duo to finish in the top five in scoring in the same season, which they did twice in 2011-12 and 2014-15.
As it stands, DeRozan and LaVine are fifth and seventh in the league in points per game, with DeRozan's 26.9 points per game just shy of his career-high of 27.3 which came in the 2016-17 season while playing for the Toronto Raptors.
Teammates to finish top 10 in scoring in the same season over the past 10 years
|PLAYERS (rank in scoring)||TEAM||YEAR|
|DeMar DeRozan (5) and Zach LaVine (7)*||Chicago Bulls||2021-22|
|Kevin Durant (9) and Kyrie Irving (10)||Brooklyn Nets||2020-21|
|Steph Curry (6) and Kevin Durant (7)||Golden State Warriors||2017-18|
|Anthony Davis (2) and DeMarcus Cousins (9)||New Orleans Pelicans||2017-18|
|Anthony Davis (4) and DeMarcus Cousins (7)||New Orleans Pelicans||2016-17|
|Kevin Durant (3) and Russell Westbrook (8)||Oklahoma City Thunder||2015-16|
|Russell Westbrook (1) and Kevin Durant (3)**||Oklahoma City Thunder||2014-15|
|Kevin Durant (2) and Russell Westbrook (6)||Oklahoma City Thunder||2012-13|
|Kevin Durant (1) and Russell Westbrook (5)||Oklahoma City Thunder||2011-12|
|LeBron James (3) and Dwyane Wade (7)||Miami Heat||2011-12|
* DeRozan/LaVine season just 14 games old
** Durant played just 27 games that season
The Bulls have assembled a roster built around their wing duo as Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso facilitate on offence and make their mark defensively while big man Nikola Vucevic has sacrificed his offensive touches in order to rebound, set screens and open up space for DeRozan and LaVine to cook.
If the Bulls duo continues to score at a historic rate, they have all the other pieces firing to make for a big season in Chicago.
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