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Paris Game: Bulls win comfortably thanks to DeRozan and LaVine

In the first Paris Game since 2020, the Chicago Bulls confidently prevailed against the Detroit Pistons. Zach LaVine and Demar DeRozan combined for 54 points.

Zach LaVine had 30 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in the game against the Pistons (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Fueled by NBA legends Joakim Noah and Tony Parker, the Chicago Bulls got off to a flying start: After three minutes and a crashing DeRozan dunk, they were already leading 9:2. Local hero Kilian Hayes was the center of attention for the Pistons: Every successful move by him was met with applause from the scene. In the first quarter, he was particularly good as a provider and played four assists.

Despite Hayes, the Bulls had the support of the fans from the first second. Although both teams were nervous, especially at the beginning of the game, Chicago in particular found a rhythm in the course of the first quarter, in which Patrick Williams and Hamidou Diallo followed up with further highlight plays. Chicago meanwhile played an eleven point lead, but the Pistons turned it up again, so that the Bulls were 31:24 after the first quarter.

Bulls stars turn up

In the second quarter, the Pistons got closer and closer to the Bulls – mainly thanks to Diallo and Bojan Bogdanovic. The latter was already at 16 points at the break. As a result, he almost single-handedly kept Detroit within striking distance. A three-pointer from Saddiq Bey gave the Pistons a brief lead before Nikola Vucevic countered.

The team from the “Motor City” had no answer against him, he already had a double-double at half-time. Supported by Demar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, both of whom were already in double digits at the break, the Bulls went on a 12-0 run to go into the dressing room with a 65-56 lead. After the half-time break, LaVine gave his Bulls a double-digit lead with an and-one play. The Big Three of the Bulls never got a grip on Detroit. By the middle of the third quarter, all three were at least 16 points.

After a pause that honored legends Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Magic Johnson, LaVine went straight on with a smashing dunk. Shortly thereafter, he delivered the next highlight: an alley oop allusion to Derrick Jones Jr., which he transformed massively. And barely two minutes later, Jones Jr. was flying through the zone again, this time on assist from Alex Caruso, giving the 93-79 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Around 20,000 fans watched the match at the Accor Arena in Paris (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Chicago fends off comeback attempts

In this case, rookie Jaden Ivey in particular tried to prevent the impending defeat, but Chicago always had the right answer in the person of DeRozan or Coby White. DeRozan in particular took over in the final quarter and almost never missed. So he stifled any comeback attempts by the Pistons. In the end, the Bulls confidently prevailed with 126:108. Balanced scoring was a key: Six Bulls players scored in double digits, Zach LaVine was the game’s top scorer with 30 points, followed by DeRozan with 24. The Pistons’ top scorer was Bojan Bogdanovic with 25, followed by Saddiq Bey with 18 and Hamidou Diallo with 17 counters.

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