Before their Wednesday night game against the Cavaliers, the Bulls were riding a four-game losing streak.
Two of the losses, against the Warriors (42) and the Nets (26), came by a combined 68-point margin with the latest loss coming after Brooklyn went on a 43-8 run in the second half.
Also, they were dressing without star shooting guard Zach LaVine, who is rehabbing after injuring his knee against the Wizards last week. Not to mention the fact that the Cavaliers are a team that had won their previous five and are one of the the best defenders in the league.
But fear not Chicago, MVP candidate DeMar DeRozan has come to the rescue.
The 6-foot-6 wing scored a game-high 30 points, eight of which came in the final period and kept him in the league. elite level of fourth quarter scorers.
It’s not all about DeRozan’s scoring, though, as he’s shown in recent years.
The Bulls were able to win this game 117-104 in the back in a 14-2 streak in the last 4:07 minutes and DeRozan was scored or assisted on eight points in that stretch.
His varsity teammate Nikola Vucevic supported DeRozan with 24 points of his own, helping the Bulls score 117 points.
That tally is tied for the third-most allowed by the Cavaliers since their 0-2 start and is commendable given that Cleveland on average allows 102.8 points per game, which ranks third in the league.
This win comes at a good time as the Bulls can prepare to get back on track with a very favorable upcoming schedule. Eight of their next nine games, barring the next one at Milwaukee, are against teams with a record of .500 or worse (as of Jan. 19).