With an aggressive approach, Lauri Markkanen scores 32 points in a Bulls’ win

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 21: Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls goes for a dunk against the Orlando Magic on December 21, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – He entered the court on Friday night with Tiger prints on his shoes. It wasn’t just a fashion statement, for he had the eye of one over the course of 48 minutes.

Nothing like a six-point game to motivate Lauri Marrkanen to deliver one of the finest performances of his young career.

With his new stylish and perhaps symbolic footwear, the forward scored 32 points against the Magic in helping the Bulls to a 90-80 victory at the United Center on Friday evening.

He did so after scoring just six points on just six shot attempts, Markkanen hit 12-of-20 attempts on Friday, including a few slams that stood out in the second-highest scoring night of his career.

“That’s what the league is. Maybe you have a poor performance, then you come out and you have a better performance or you worker harder at it or change a thing or two,” said Boylen of Markkanen. “But, you know, he’s so willing to help his team he’ll do whatever you ask him.

“So his heart’s good, man. His soul and his spirit is big time.”

It’s the second time that Markkanen has reached 32 points in a game, doing so against the Pacers on December 29, 2017. He was just one short of his career-high of 33 against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 10th.

He helped the Bulls grab the lead for good in the second quarter and made one of the plays of the year in the third quarter. He took the ball from the outside down the lane and dunked over Nikola Vucevic.

So excited over the dunk, Markkanen was called for a taunting technical foul.

That was part of an aggressive night for the second-year forward, who showed the “Eye of the Tiger,” matching his footwear for the evening.



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