DeMar DeRozan dedicated his big night at Staples Center yesterday to the memory of his deceased father, who was often seen in the arena.
The Chicago Bulls seem to have righted their ship as far as results go. At this point last year, they were well below a .500 record and competing for the play-in spots. Instead, they’re now a top-3 team in the Conference according to the latest standings at 9-4.
The Bulls started their season off 4-0. They went 4-4 after that, including a blowout loss at the Chase Center as Steph scored 40. The impact of their first big loss of the year definitely seemed to have motivated Zach LaVine and co.
In particular, the game came down to DeMar DeRozan taking over as their lead scorer in the second half. LaVine cooled off after a relatively hot start to the half and the Bulls rapidly lost ground.
The Clippers managed to make a game of it early in the 4th, but DeMar then took over for Chicago. He treated his hometown LA natives to some great 4th quarter offense and put the game beyond the Clippers’ reach.
The 5-time All-Star finished with 35 points to his name on the night. DeRozan had an efficient 12-of-16 shooting night, leading all scorers even though LaVine shot 11 times more.
DeMar DeRozan drops 35 points, dedicates performance to his late father
DeRozan was ecstatic with his own performance, noting how he always wants to do well at LA. The shooting guard-turned-power forward hails from Compton and has deep ties to his place of birth.
In addition, the passing of his father, who’d often turn up for his games at Staples, added a different air for his game on the night. DeRozan admitted that his dad’s absence in the stands lit a different fire underneath him:
“He was at every game… tonight was one of those games that, I wish he was here.”
DeMar DeRozan dropped 35 points tonight and said this was his first time playing in LA since his father died.
“He was at every game… tonight was one of those games that, I wish he was here”
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) November 15, 2021
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DeMar DeRozan lost his father earlier this year after a prolonged battle with a variety of illnesses, including a kidney condition. He’d take chartered flights to Los Angeles on off days between games to be able to visit him while he was ill, returning on red-eye flights for games.
This happened at several points in time over the course of his nine-year tenure with the Raptors before being traded to the Spurs in 2018 as part of a multi-player deal that included Kawhi Leonard.