The Chicago Bulls earned their ninth win of the season with a 118-92 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday, February 6, on the road.
The Bulls were led by the hot shooting of guard Zach LaVine, who exploded for a game-high 39 points on 16-25 shooting in Saturday’s win. LaVine said coach Billy Donovan wanted a different outcome from his team after Friday’s night [February 5] loss against the Magic.
“Go out there and try and blow these guys out,” said LaVine about the message sent to the players from coach Billy Donovan. “Message received.”
LaVine said after the team’s disappointing loss on Friday night, coach Donovan urged the team to go out and earn a blow-out victory. The Bulls would fulfill coach Donovan’s dream by building a 61-43 halftime lead.
“I think the way we played definitely represented what he wanted us to do,” LaVine said via Chicago Bulls.com. “I told you [media] guys yesterday I was going to come out and be more aggressive. We let a game slip away I think we could have capitalized on, and I think it just brings a different energy to the team. Obviously, you’ve got to go out there and make your shots. But I think me being aggressive with my shot, jumper or getting downhill to create and get to the basket is a good thing. Just whatever I had to do to help us win, I did that tonight.”
LaVine’s 22 points in the first half were nearly identical to his 24-point fourth quarter outburst on Friday night. LaVine also received scoring help from teammates Denzel Valentine (20 points) and rookie Patrick Williams (16). Williams posted his first ever double-double on Saturday night after scoring a career-high 20 points in the team’s previous game.
“When he plays like that, I don’t think he understands his strength and his physicality,” said Zach LaVine about the great play of rookie Patrick Williams via Chicago Bulls.com. “At 19, it’s ridiculous. He’s a monster, he’s going to be a monster. I tell him all the time, ‘Man, just be aggressive, be who you are.’ When he plays with that type of intention, it really helps our team.”
In addition to Williams’ back-to-back strong performances, coach Donovan believes his team provided great effort on both ends of the floor.
“Tonight, I feel we maintained an identity on both ends of the floor,” said coach Billy Donovan via Chicago Bulls.com. “That’s what we have to do. For our team, when we have these lapses for minutes at a time, it’s hard for us to recover, especially when it happens in maybe a second quarter or close to the half or the start or middle of the third quarter. That’s what we’re fighting for, consistency and an understanding that every possession matters. I always say this: Every possession has a life of its own. It’s a competitive, 24-second life of its own. There will never, ever be another possession like that maybe again.”
For Coach Donovan, valuing possessions should be his team’s top priority.
Final Score: Bulls 118, Magic 92.
With the victory, the Bulls are now 9-13 on the season.
Chicago Crusader Players of The Game:
Zach LaVine, Bulls, finished with a game-high 39 points on 16-25 shooting from the field.
Denzel Valentine, Bulls, 20 points.
Rookie Patrick Williams, Bulls, posted his first double-double of his career with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.