MIAMI – Last year he was known as “King of the Fourth” thanks to his play in the final 12 minutes of games in his first season with the Bulls.

Now DeMar DeRozan could be known as “King of the Opener,” because his play in the first game of the 2022-2023 season was historic.

The five-time All-Star finished with a game-high 37 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in the Bulls’ 116-108 opening night victory over the Heat Wednesday night at FTX Arena.

In keeping with his trend in his career in Chicago, DeRozan scored 28 of his points in the second half – 19 in the third and nine in the fourth. That was enough for the team to knock off the team that finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season.

DeRozan’s performance was also necessary since fellow All-Star Zach LaVine was out of the lineup due to left knee management.

His numbers over the course of his 36 minutes were historic for the Bulls since only one other player was able to produce as well as DeRozan in a season opener.

Per Chicago Bulls public relations, the guard became just the second in team history to have at least 35 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the first game of a regular season. The other is Michael Jordan, who pulled off that feat three times in his Hall of Fame career in Chicago.

DeRozan also continues to add to his own list of strong performances with the Bulls as Wednesday night marked the 16th time in just over a year that the guard has scored at least 37 points in a game.

He did so 14 times during the regular season in 2021-2022 and had 41 points in a Game 2 first round playoff series win over the Bucks in Milwaukee.

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