A 19-point deficit loomed over the Bulls, battling to earn the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A superstar-esque performance by guard Zach LaVine led the Bulls to a comeback victory to keep their postseason dreams alive.

The Toronto Raptors held an 11-point lead heading into halftime, ending the half with a crushing half-court shot by Fred Vanvleet. Toronto would follow their hot end to the 1st half with a hot start to the 2nd half, jumping out to a 19-point lead. Thankfully, the Chicago Bulls weren’t ready to give up and rallied to win the first of two win-or-go-home matchups.

The Bulls held the Raptors bench to just 8 points on the night. Both Patrick Williams & Coby White outscored their bench themselves.

The MVP(s) of the Night

Zach LaVine leads the way in the comeback victory scoring 39 points and shooting 12-22 from the field in 40 minutes of game time. Although LaVine managed to play through the pain against the Milwaukee Bucks last year, he was playing hobbled. Zach was even held out for game 5 of that series, indicating he played through pain. A genuine concern hit the Bulls when LaVine underwent off-season knee surgery. Those concerns are in the past, as Zach LaVine looked like a superstar on the court Wednesday night, coming up big when his team needed him the most. LaVine hit multiple clutch shots in the fourth quarter, ultimately leading to a choke by the Raptors and a comeback victory for the Bulls; truly a do-or-die moment. Bulls fans can rejoice because a healthy Zach LaVine has arrived.

Credit must be given when due, as Zach LaVine was not the only MVP of the night. DeMar DeRozan’s daughter Diar DeRozan had a massive impact on the Raptors’ poor free-throw shooting. Diar played a part in causing the Raptors to miss 18 free throws on the night in one of the worst free-throw line performances in NBA history, as the Raptors shot just 50% from the charity stripe. DeMar DeRozan also aided LaVine on the offensive end scoring 23 points on a 10-19 shooting night. The Raptors failed to execute the defensive techniques that led them to regular season victories against the Bulls, causing an end to their season.

Photo: NBA.com

The Chicago Bulls head to South Beach, where they will take on the Miami Heat in a game that will determine the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference on Friday night. The Bulls hold the advantage of having the momentum of a comeback victory, while the Heat are poised to erase their defeat against the Atlanta Hawks.


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