DeRozan and the Bulls continue after the All-Star Game


Chicago winger DeMar DeRozan shone again on Thursday to give the Bulls a sixth straight 112-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks in their return to the NBA after the All-Star Game.

De Rozan, 32, is also continuing his own series of at least 35 points scored in a game (37 against Atlanta) for the eighth time in a row. He also grabbed six rebounds.

Only five other players have had such a streak in the NBA: Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and James Harden.

Above all, it was he who allowed the leaders of the Eastern Conference (39 wins) to take the lead while the Bulls suffered at home.

« I like these moments, I like the challenge. I like the opportunity. It’s a pleasure for me, » said DeRozan, who allows his team to keep the lead in front of Miami.

The former San Antonio Spurs, Chicago’s locomotive this season, made his return to the All-Star Game last weekend after a four-year absence, and is listed as a potential MVP.

He could get a little closer if he continues his famous streak of at least 35 points in one game. In Bulls history, only icon Michael Jordan did better in 1986, with 10 straight games.

Zach Levine (20 points) and Nikola Vucevic (12) also contributed to Chicago’s success, responding to Danilo Gallinari (26 points) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (27).

– Without Paul, the Suns also win –

The leaders in the West, the Phoenix Suns, had to do without their leader Chris Paul, injured, to beat Oklahoma, penultimate, 124-104 and chain an eighth success in a row.

Paul will be out for eight weeks with a broken thumb. Without him, it was Devin Booker, author of 25 points and 12 assists, who took over.

« Devin handled the game well, » his coach Monty Williams said, « if you look at his number of assists, he dropped the ball and found his teammates at the right times. »

Behind, the Golden State Warriors had fun against Portland 132-95, thanks in particular to the 18 points and 14 assists of the essential Stephen Curry, MVP of the All-Star Game. In addition, eight players scored at least 10 points in the game.

A welcome success for the Warriors who remained on 4 defeats in five games before the break.

Also in the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies (3rd) were beaten 119-114 by Minnesota.

In the East, Boston and Jayson Tatum (30 points) dominated Brooklyn 129-106, deprived of its stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as well as Ben Simmons, new recruit still on the bench.

Despite Seth Curry (22 points), who arrived with Simmons in the trade that sent James Harden to Philadelphia, the Nets recorded their 13th loss in 15 games. Finally Detroit, penultimate, surprised Cleveland (4th) 106-103.


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