Short-handed Bulls deliver a memorable performance in a win over the Nuggets


CHICAGO – There’s no telling what may transpire over the course of the next few months as a new-look Bulls’ team continues to find its way through the 2021-2022 season.

But what the team pulled off shorthanded on Monday night may end up making it one of the more memorable victories of the campaign.

With DeMar DeRozan a late scratch due to entering the health and safety protocol, Alex Caruso out with a hamstring, and the team already down Coby White and Javonte Green due to COVID-19 positive tests, the team still found a way to get it done against the Nuggets.

A collective effort helped the team to a 109-97 victory that extends their winning streak to four games, with Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball picking up the production while Ayo Dosunmu stepped in to start his first game.

“It’s a new team, man,” said LaVine when asked about the Bulls finding a way to win despite having a few players out. “It’s like I tried to say at the beginning of the year, this isn’t last year. We’ve got a bunch of guys that support each other, step up, aren’t scared of the moment.

“So it’s a brand new energy and confidence that we have.”

LaVine led the effort with 32 points on 13-of-23 shooting while also dishing out a co-team high eight assists on the night. Ball and Vucevic matched efforts as each had a double-double with 20 points and ten rebounds, with the guard also adding four assists and four blocks.

Dosunmu was one of the big stories as the former Morgan Park High School and Illinois star got his first NBA start, also dishing out eight assists while scoring 11 points with six rebounds. He also did so playing 41 minutes, which is by far a season-high for the rookie who has been in a spot reserve role all season.

“I felt good,” said Dosunmu of the extra playing time. “My mindset is stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. The reality of it is you know coming into the season that, unfortunately, there’s going to be times where someone is either going to be injured or, with the COVID, be out due to protocols and stuff, so you just always want to be ready.”

He was, and so was the rest of his teammates to pick up a memorable win despite the circumstances.

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