Title: DEMAR DEROZAN WENT BULL SLAYING IN ONE OF HIS BEST GAMES YET
Date: March 22, 2017
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: For my latest at Vice, I wrote about one of DeMar DeRozan’s best two-way games ever helping break the Raptors’ losing streak against the Bulls.
The Chicago Bulls’ 11-game winning streak against the Toronto Raptors, one that spanned over three calendar years, was defined by remarkable—and often unexpected—individual performances. Jimmy Butler broke Michael Jordan’s single-half scoring record, Tony Snell inexplicably scored 16 points in a fourth quarter, and Doug McDermott became more haunting to the city of Toronto than 100 Norm Kellys.
To defeat the streak, then, Toronto was likely going to need some heroics of its own. And the game that would slay the albatross hung firmly around the neck of the Raptors wasn’t going to be any straightforward affair, no matter what projections, betting lines, or logic might suggest: When a weird streak is born of individual oddities, normalcy just didn’t make sense as a way out.
And so the Raptors and Bulls embarked upon perhaps their weirdest adventure yet, a game that saw the Bulls lead by as many as 16 and create an almost welcome specter of inevitability for Raptors fans. The energy draining at the Air Canada Centre, it took the unlikeliest of sparks to turn things around, with Robin Lopez throwing a punch at Serge Ibaka, Ibaka reciprocating, and all hell breaking loose from there.