Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan is the NBA’s fourth-quarter goal scorer
DeMar DeRozan is set to play for the Chicago Bulls this season as they climb the NBA rankings, currently 15-8 after a 119-115 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.
Chicago now turns 8-4 on the road.
The Bulls staged an intense Knicks finish, led by DeRozan’s 34 points, 18 of which came in fourth. It was the seventh game he scored 30 points for the Bulls this season.
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Any questions people might have about this lineup and its suitability are now answered.
DeRozan, who many feel accomplished after his three seasons in San Antonio, hasn’t quite produced the performances that made him an All-Star in Toronto. In his first season in Chicago, he looked like he was revived, stepping up when his team needed him most to lead the NBA in points for the fourth quarter. He has now scored 165 points in 22 fourth quarters with an average of 7.5 points per final term, all while shooting over 50% from the field.
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While his teammate in the back Zach LaVine is more of a 3-pointer, DeRozan relies on an old-fashioned game of mid-range stretch and forge to create his own shot.
“DeMar has done it all his career, he’s a great closing guy when you give him space and room,” head coach Billy Donovan said after the game. “DeMar’s presence, he was never disturbed. That helped our team.”
As the Bulls struggled to withstand the Knicks’ return, it was DeRozan who sealed the victory with a step-by-step slide with 20 seconds remaining.
“That was the moment where it was a big bucket to seal the game for us. We gave up a big lead, and just pulled it out and it was big.” DeRozan said.
Based on the numbers, it seems that DeRozan is currently the most clutch player in the NBA.