East Notes: Bulls, DeMar DeRozan, Raptors, Pacers


DeMar DeRozan erupted for 46 points and hit the go-ahead game-winner as the Bulls topped the Pacers on the road in overtime Wednesday.DeMar DeRozan

These Bulls are hard to figure out, but DeRozan undoubtedly is giving them hope.

“It’s like a survival mode that kicks in, in a fun way,” he told reporters of the win. “You embrace those moments. For me, I just thrive off those moments. I’m not scared to fail. I’m not scared to try to make something happen. I want those moments more than anything. It always reminds me of my childhood, being a kid and doing the little fake countdown, jumping on the bed, shooting the shot.”

  • This will be a telling offseason in Chicago, without a doubt. In case you missed it, the Bulls reportedly will revisit trade talks surrounding injured guard Zach LaVine, as we relayed here.


The Raptors have lost five straight, including Tuesday’s game against the lowly Pistons. That matched a season-high for Toronto.

Coach Darko Rajakovic chalked up the latest loss to getting beat on the boards.

“We had 32 assists, but we weren’t able to get enough on the glass,” he told reporters. “We allowed too many second-chance points. That was the biggest difference.”

  • The Raptors have to be careful that losing doesn’t become their identity, wrote Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.
  • Team president Masai Uriji indicated recently he’s optimistic about the future. “I believe in these guys. We believe in them,” he told reporters. “We think growth sometimes takes a while … Hopefully we can have a little bit of patience.”


The Pacers traded leads with the Bulls 12 times in Wednesday’s thriller, but Indiana came up short in overtime. Not ideal, considering the Pacers were at home against an opponent that appears headed for the play-in.

“Our defense just wasn’t good enough,” center Myles Turner told reporters. “DeRozan hit some big shots, special player. But as a whole, I don’t think we were there, just that last part. This time of year, there’s no excuses. You’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

Coach Rick Carlisle admitted the game was fun, but added the Pacers just made too many costly errors. “It’s a gut punch,” he said. “When you make minor mistakes at the wrong times, it can really bite you. There were a lot of ’em.”

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