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DeMar DeRozan psyched out Jalen Brunson at foul line, then made the game-winner


The Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks performed for the third time in 10 days on Friday night time. The 2 groups have been anticipated to be in the identical tier of Japanese Convention contenders this season, however they’re headed in reverse instructions to begin the 12 months: the Knicks have been surging in Dec. to climb as much as the No. 6 seed within the East, whereas the Bulls have misplaced so many shut video games to push them outdoors of the play-in image because the convention’s No. 11 seed.

The expertise hole between these two groups isn’t as massive as their information would point out, and on Friday they performed one other evenly matched sport that got here right down to the wire. The Bulls received, 118-117, on late sport heroics from DeMar DeRozan — and we’re not simply speaking about his buzzer-beating jumper to win the sport.

The Knicks led by three with one minute left when Knicks guard Quentin Grimes was fouled and went to the free throw line. He missed each freebies. Zach LaVine scored two buckets inside the ultimate minute to trim the Knicks’ result in one, and the Bulls have been compelled to foul with seven seconds left to get one final likelihood to make it a one possession sport.

Knicks star Jalen Brunson went to the foul line with an opportunity to place his staff up three factors. That’s when DeRozan determined to get in Brunson’s head. The veteran Bulls star began speaking trash to the Knicks guard, who promptly missed the primary free throw. DeRozan mentioned one thing to Brunson once more after his first miss, and wouldn’t you already know it, Brunson missed the second free throw, too.

The Bulls have been now down one with six seconds left. These are the conditions the place DeRozan actually shines, and he did it once more to steal a win straight out of the Knicks’ arms.

The Bulls inbounded the ball to DeRozan. LaVine set a display screen for him and the Knicks switched the motion. DeRozan had Grimes on an island with the clock ticking down, received to his candy spot simply contained in the three-point line, and elevated to empty the game-winner.

I can solely think about that DeRozan instructed Brunson he was going to win the sport if the Knicks guard couldn’t make his free throws. That’s precisely what occurred.

The Bulls have now received back-to-back video games on the ultimate possession after being horrible within the clutch all 12 months. These wins have elevated Chicago’s file in clutch conditions to solely 5-11. That’s nonetheless fairly dangerous, however perhaps they’re lastly catching some good luck. Having DeRozan in your aspect definitely helps.

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