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DeMar DeRozan drops 41 on the Bucks as Bulls level the series 1-1

Facing a team that has been a nemesis in recent seasons, Chicago exorcised some demons while their star led the way.

Paul Rudder
DeMar DeRozan drops 41 on the Bucks as Bulls level the series 1-1
Stacy RevereAFP

With their star leading the way, the Bulls battled their way to a gritty win against the Milwaukee Bucks

DeMar DeRozan’s Bulls take apart Giannis’ Bucks

On Wednesday night the Chicago Bulls managed to complete what can only be considered an upset against the favored Milwaukee Bucks, as they emerged victorious with a 114-109 win in Game 2 of their first-round series. With the win the series is now tied 1-1 as the teams head into Game 3 on Friday night in Chicago, the Bulls’ first home playoff game since 2017.

As for how the game played out, it was without doubt the DeMar DeRozan show. The Bulls’ star player was had a spectacular performance as he made shot after shot, finally putting a playoff career-high 41 points on the board. Indeed, it was Derozan whose driving layup with 18.2 seconds on the clock brought the lead to 5 points and more or less concluded the contest. While Chicago’s talisman was the main protagonist there was also the supporting cast of Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine who combined for an impressive 44 points. Postgame DeRozan was proud of his team given their difficult history against the Bucks. “No matter what you did in the regular season, this is a brand new start and new mindset. You could see it in all the guys. It doesn’t matter if we’d lost 20 times to those guys. This is an opportunity for us to compete. We’ve got to take advantage of it.”

Errors, Injuries and the Milwaukee Bucks plight

As usual Giannis Antetokounmpo was at the center of everything positive for the Bucks, but his 33 points, 19 rebounds and nine assists were unfortunately not enough for Milwaukee on the night. The Bucks were sadly lax in many areas of the court and in total committed an eyebrow raising 15 turnovers. To make matters worse, the Bucks must now sweat on the possibility of two players being absent in the next game. Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis are now potential absentees come Friday, with Middleton having suffered an MCL sprain - he will receive an MRI on Thursday - and Portis leaving the game with what appeared to be an eye abrsion that affected his sight.

Speaking on the injury to Middleton Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said, “He’s always been positive and he knows the type of team that we are and how resilient we are. We just want him to get back as quickly as possible and be healthy so he can come out here and help us win games.” Indeed, Middleton’s coming MRI will be key in determining just how soon he can return to the team. Where Portis is concerned, Bucks headcoach Mike Budenholzer said that the forward “should be fine with some time.”


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