The Chicago Bulls hosted the Los Angeles Lakers last night at United Center. It was a real test for both teams, who are significantly depleted and had to make do with the players they had available.
The Bulls were without Zach LaVine, who is in the league's health and safety protocols, but they managed to go 2-0 up against the Lakers in the season series. DeMar DeRozan, who just came out of the safety protocols was the best man on the floor in that matchup.
Although he got 16 points from the free-throw line, he was automatic from the midrange, especially in the fourth quarter. His takeover in the period guaranteed the 105-100 win for the Bulls.
DeRozan had high praise for LeBron James, stating how much he respected him after the game. While he praised King James, another Lakers veteran heaped praise on DeRozan for his mastery of the midrange game.
According to Lakers reporter Ryan Ward, Carmelo Anthony said:
"The fact that he utilizes the midrange. I know a lot of people want to discredit that part of the game, but I think that's a lost art. I think the midrange game is a lost art and DeMar is one of the guys who mastered that."
Watching DeRozan go to work in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty. He found his way to the top of the free-throw line and it was nothing but net when he pulled up. The Lakers were close to stealing the win but the King of the fourth quarter was not having it in his home court.
It was an intriguing game to watch as the Lakers, despite missing key players put in a solid performance on both ends of the floor. Head coach Frank Vogel was also unavailable on the sidelines as he is observing the league's health and safety protocols.
DeRozan finished the game with 38 points, six assists, and four rebounds. The Bulls had their last two games postponed due to the covid-19 outbreak but are back to winning ways. They currently hold an 18-10 record and have solidified their position as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Brooklyn Nets.