NBA

DeRozan believes sky is the limit for Bulls after extending win streak

By Sports Desk January 01, 2022

DeMar DeRozan believes the sky is the limit for the surging Chicago Bulls as their resilient winning streak continued against the Indiana Pacers.

The Bulls grabbed a dramatic 108-106 road win on Friday, their sixth straight NBA triumph meaning they ended 2021 sitting top of the Eastern Conference at 23-10.

Chicago were without head coach Billy Donovan for a fourth straight game due to health and safety protocols, with Lonzo Ball absent for the same reason, while Alex Caruso is still out with a foot injury.

They were missing 10 players at one stage in December after a COVID-19 outbreak.

DeRozan, who hit an incredible buzzer-beating three-pointer to see off the Pacers, takes huge encouragement from the Bulls' fine form while the team has been undermanned.

"We have been battling COVID protocols with our coach, our players, for what has felt like the last two months," DeRozan said, per ESPN.

"For the team to be able to hold on, sustain like we are doing and end the year top of our conference, it speaks volumes to the type of team we are. 

"And [it speaks volumes to] the type of team we can be once we get back to full strength."

DeRozan paid tribute to teammate Coby White, who hustled to grab a crucial rebound before the game-winning shot off one leg from 28 feet.

White also connected with six of seven attempts from behind the arc in a 24-point display, but it was DeRozan who took the plaudits with a game-high 28 and a +18 point differential.

DeRozan is the league leader for both total points and points per game in the fourth quarter.

This was his second career buzzer-beater and the first for a Bulls player since Jimmy Butler in 2016.

"For that shot to go in was a big-time relief for me," added four-time All Star DeRozan, who is in his first season with the Bulls after spells with the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs.

"We were battling that whole fourth quarter, feeling like nothing was going our way on both ends.

"We couldn't get a rebound. We couldn't get going offensively. It felt like we were getting beat up here and there. 

"By the time I looked up at the clock, I said, 'All right, I got to make something happen'. I just tried to get enough space, get it up, get it over and as soon as it left my hand it felt good.

"I'm a firm believer in, as long as I got time I got a chance.

"Sometimes it's going to be rough nights, and you have got to understand, as long as there's time on that clock you can figure out something to do to pull out a victory. That's what we did."

The Bulls are back in action at the Washington Wizards (18-17) on Saturday.

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