OKLAHOMA CITY – The big news before the game had to do with two guards who were returning to the Bulls’ lineup. By the end of 40 minutes against the Thunder, another had stolen the show.
That’s because Ayo Dosunmu added another memorable chapter to his rookie season in Oklahoma City on Monday, and his efforts helped the Bulls split their road back-to-back.
The Chicago native, former Morgan Park High School and University of Illinois standout scored a career-high 24 points in the eighth start of his rookie season in a 111-110 win over the Thunder to improve the Bulls record to 29-17.
Dosunmu set a franchise rookie record by hitting the first nine shots he took from the floor and finished 10-of-14 while also going 4-for-6 behind the three-point line.
The guard also had eight rebounds and five assists and had one of the highlights of the night with a half-court three-pointer to end the third quarter. The effort came despite the fact that Dosunmu fouled out with just under four minutes to go and missed a stressful ending for the Bulls.
Coby White’s three-pointer with 2:30 to go up the Bulls up by nine by Oklahoma City chipped away and got the lead down to three in their final possession. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got the chance to tie the game with 2.7 seconds left but missed, and Javonte Green hit a free throw to put the game away.
Zach LaVine made his return to the Bulls’ lineup for the first time since January 14th (knee injury) and had some rust, going 6-of-19 for 23 points. Nikola Vusevic led the way with 26 points as he shot 10-for-18 from the floor after going 4-for-19 in a loss to the Magic on Sunday.
DeMar DeRozan, who had 41 points in Orlando 24 hours earlier, was given the night off for rest.
Yet Dosunmu’s effort is the one that stands out as his memorable rookie season adds another great chapter. In 42 games, the guard is averaging 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in an average of 22.5 minutes per game.