Bulls Overcome LaVine’s Absence In 125-96 Win Over Grizzlies

Chicago Bulls, NBA News
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

In Zach LaVine’s absence, the Chicago Bulls demonstrated their capability to continue to overcome adversity, winning 125-96 over the Memphis Grizzlies during Saturday’s NBA action.

Ayo Dosunmu led the way with 20 points, while DeMar DeRozan contributed 18, helping the Bulls to their sixth win in the last eight games. This victory came despite LaVine sitting out due to a sprained right ankle, an injury he sustained in a recent win against Toronto.

No specific timeline was provided for LaVine’s return. Notably, Chicago maintained a solid record during LaVine’s absences this season, going 11-8 in the games he missed.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: DeMar DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

Patrick Williams emphasized the team’s adaptability and focus on winning, regardless of who is in the lineup. He expressed eagerness for LaVine’s return but acknowledged the team’s responsibility to perform well in his absence.

“You just find a way,” Williams said. “The end goal is to win the game (no matter) who’s playing, who’s not playing. That’s your job as a team, that’s your job as a player is to win games. We’re all trying to find a way to do that. Would love to have him here. Can’t wait ‘til he gets back. But we’ve got to hold down the fort.”

Chicago’s offense was well-rounded, with Coby White scoring 17 points, Williams adding 15, and Andre Drummond contributing a double-double. The Bulls had seven players scoring in double digits and registered 32 assists, showcasing the balanced attack they needed without one of their key players.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: DeMar DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

Donovan praised the team’s sustained effort throughout the game and their unselfish play, which was crucial in generating good scoring opportunities.

“I thought we sustained it for the whole game, which was good to see,” Donovan said. “I know we didn’t shoot it particularly well to start the game, but I thought we were really generating a lot of good looks. They missed a lot of 3s as well, so there wasn’t much separation there in that first quarter. But I liked the fact that we kept staying with it and were really unselfish and guys moved the ball, shared it. Everybody kind of got involved in one way or another.”

For Memphis, Jaren Jackson Jr. led with 26 points, while Luke Kennard and Vince Williams Jr. added 14. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins acknowledged the team’s solid defensive execution in the first half but noted that their offensive struggles held them back.

“I thought we gave great effort in the first half, only gave up 50 points in the first half,” coach Taylor Jenkins said. “I thought our defensive gameplan execution was really good. Our offense really just set us back tonight.”

The Grizzlies, missing three of their top scorers, have found it challenging recently, losing four of their last five games. Without Ja Morant, who faced a suspension and a season-ending injury, along with Marcus Smart and Desmond Bane out with injuries, the Grizzlies have struggled, holding a 9-24 record without Morant.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: DeMar DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies Updates

The game turned in Chicago’s favor in the second quarter, and a decisive 17-0 run in the third quarter, featuring key plays from DeRozan, White, Dosunmu, and Alex Caruso, secured the Bulls’ commanding lead.

Looking ahead, the Grizzlies will face the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, while the Bulls will take on the Phoenix Suns the same evening.

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