August 14, 2022

After a year-long hiatus, DeMar DeRozan has returned to the Toronto Raptors. The two-time All-Star guard is off to his old form as he drops 38 points on Los Angeles Lakers in return homecoming.

DeMar DeRozan is a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls. He has been in the NBA since 2009, and he was born on September 14th, 1986. Read more in detail here: how old is demar derozan.

Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan drops 38 on Los Angeles Lakers in return

CHICAGO (WLS) — DeMar DeRozan set a season high with 38 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 115-110 win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night at the United Center, in his first game in more than two weeks after passing the NBA’s health and safety regulations.

After having two games postponed due to a team COVID-19 outbreak, DeRozan was playing in his first game since Dec. 4, and the Bulls were playing for the first time in more than a week. Despite being one of the ten Bulls players to be placed in the league’s protocols, DeRozan did not show any signs of the virus.

Instead, he spent the most of his time in quarantine fighting boredom by stretching, jumping rope, and performing pushups, among other activities. DeRozan was so eager to return to the court that he stated he went to the Bulls’ practice facility at 1:00 a.m. to shoot after being released from his 10-day confinement.

DeRozan claimed he felt “as free as a bird” after being able to play again on Sunday. “It was just being out there, being with those men, and being in front of the crowd that was the most difficult part. I’m now going out of the basement where I’d been for the last ten days.”

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Coby White, Javonte Green, and Derrick Jones Jr., who did not return after halftime due to a left hamstring injury, were among the four Bulls players who passed the league’s health and safety requirements to play Sunday night. The Bulls had one team practice the day before, in addition to DeRozan’s late-night shooting session, but DeRozan continued where he left off at the start of the month.

He went 11-of-24 from the field and 16-of-17 from the free throw line on Sunday, adding six assists and four rebounds to his stat line.

DeRozan leads the NBA with 8.2 points per game in the fourth quarter, shooting 53.8 percent from the field, 45.5 percent from 3-point range, and 91.2 percent from the free throw line. According to ESPN Stats & Information, no player has averaged at least eight points in the fourth quarter while shooting 50% from the floor and 90% from the line in the last 25 seasons (min. 10 games).

“There’s simply a peace about him when the ball is in his hands,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “He is unfazed by anything. Throughout his life and profession, he’s been in a lot of these situations. For him, I believe things have slowed down. He understands precisely what he has to do and what he has to accomplish, and he manages to remain completely focused. He really has an exceptional talent.”

Donovan intended to limit DeRozan’s effort in his first game back after a lengthy layoff, but DeRozan acknowledged he realized he had to take up the burden with Bulls standout Zach LaVine still in the health and safety procedures.

He went 7-of-11 in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning jumper with 52.6 seconds left. His 19 points in the fourth quarter were the most of his career.

“A lot of people want to sort of discount that aspect of the game because he uses the midrange, but I believe it’s a forgotten skill,” Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony said. “DeMar is one of the few players who has mastered this skill. And in the conclusion of the game, when you have to slow down and run something because 3s aren’t falling, you have to be able to do so. That was something he perfected. On the court, he had perfected his positions. That, I believe, is why he’s been so efficient this season, particularly in the fourth quarter and down the stretch.”

DeRozan, who is from Compton, California, has admitted that he was interested in signing with his hometown team during the offseason before Los Angeles traded for Russell Westbrook. Anthony has seen it firsthand because DeRozan has been at his best this season against the Lakers — his two highest-scoring games this season have both come against L.A.

After the game, DeRozan was questioned whether it was a coincidence.

“Do you believe it’s a fluke?” With a grin on his face, DeRozan said. “Nah. I’m not sure. It’s possible.”

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