CHICAGO — DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points after missing two weeks in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 115-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
With the Bulls trailing by a point in the final minute, DeRozan hit an 18-footer for a 111-110 lead with 52 seconds remaining.
DeMar in the 4th? Welcome to death row. pic.twitter.com/WChE2mNoW9
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) December 20, 2021
Following a Lakers miss, DeRozan missed a shot but then was fouled with 15.6 seconds left after Ball grabbed the offensive rebound. DeRozan then hit both free throws for a 113-110 edge.
Before having two games postponed last week because of a COVID-19 outbreak, the Bulls had 10 players in the health and safety protocols. That number is down to four right now, including All-Star Zach LaVine.
Although the Lakers haven’t had any games postponed, they currently have six players – Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker. Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Austin Reaves – and coach Frank Vogel in the health and safety protocols.
Assistant David Fizdale served as coach on Sunday.
It also was Los Angeles’ first game without forward Anthony Davis, who sprained his left knee on Friday and is expected to miss four weeks.
Chicago led nearly the entire first half and by as much as 10 points before taking a 61-59 halftime lead. The Lakers took a 65-64 lead early in the third quarter on a floater by Isaiah Thomas.
The teams traded baskets and leads for the remainder of the quarter before Los Angeles took an 84-83 advantage into the fourth.
The Lakers stretched the lead to 90-85 early in the final quarter on a three-point play by DeAndre Jordan, but a short while later DeRozan hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to put the Bulls op top 94-93.
With Chicago up 99-96, Anthony nailed back-to-back 3-pointers (both on passes from James) for a 102-99 Los Angeles lead with 5 minutes to go. The game remained tight until DeRozan took over late.
Trevor Ariza made his season debut for the Lakers after sitting out the first two months with a right ankle injury. The 17-year veteran finished with three points in 15 minutes off the bench.