The Chicago Bulls won their second consecutive game after having two contests postponed due to COVID-19. After a close victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, the Bulls turned it up a notch and blew out the Houston Rockets 133-118. As Chicago continues to deal with injuries and COVID absences, it was a welcome sight to see such a big win.
The Set Up
Despite all the injury and COVID setbacks, the Bulls are still the second seed in the Eastern Conference. After losing two games without DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls star paced Chicago to an impressive win over LeBron James and the Lakers.
Still, entering Monday's game, the Bulls still were without Zach LaVine, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, and more. While the Rockets sport one of the worst records in the NBA, they have proven to be a better team than their win total indicates. With this in mind, Monday's contest was not a given for the Bulls.
From the jump, it was clear the Bulls were geared up for a great performance. Literally, Javonte Green nabbed the ball off the tip and scored immediately.
DeRozan and the Bulls scored at will throughout the first quarter. They had 35 at the end of the first quarter and kept filling up the basket in the second. Chicago put up 38 more in the second to jump out to a 73-54 advantage. While no lead is really safe in the NBA, it seemed clear the game was in the bag at halftime.
In the second half, the Bulls could pretty much coast, and—more or less—they did. Even though Chicago needed bench players to step up with all the players missing, you still would not usually see Devon Dotson playing 14 minutes in a competitive game. Even Marko Simonovic saw the floor for three clumsy minutes, and it was glorious. When all was said and done, the Bulls walked away with their 19th win of the early season.
DeRozan led the way with 26 points and six assists. Lonzo Ball had a nice line of 19 points and eight assists. Off the bench, Coby White chipped in a cool 24 points, and Alfonzo McKinnie had 16.
DeRozan Continues to Roll
DeRozan has picked up right where he left off before being sidelined by COVID.
After putting up 38 points against the Lakers on Sunday, he dropped an efficient 26 on the Rockets. He didn't need to do too much, but he was in control the entire game, chipping in six assists with his 26 points.
Fellow On Tap Sports Net contributor Matt Berklan wrote a piece earlier today detailing why DeRozan is already the best Bulls free-agent acquisition of all time, and I strongly suggest you check it out.
What's On Tap Next?
The Bulls have a day off on Tuesday before hosting the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday at 7 PM CST.
The Raptors are 14-15 on the season and hold the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. We'll have to see if the Bulls get to welcome any players back before then, but—either way—we'll see you then.
Be sure to check out the Bulls On Tap podcast for further postgame reaction as well as Chicago basketball analysis and commentary all season.