The Chicago Bulls rode DeMar DeRozan's best game of the season to a thrilling 139-131 double-overtime home victory on Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
DeRozan scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying basket to force overtime with 20 seconds remaining. He added nine more in the overtime periods, giving him a season-high 49 points on 15-of-25 shooting, including 17-of-18 from the free throw line.
The six-time All-Star logged 52 minutes of action – the third-most of any player this season (Immanuel Quickley 55; Luka Doncic 53) – while chipping in 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and only one turnover.
His partner-in-crime Zach LaVine was playing a supporting role through three quarters, but he rose to the occasion from that point on, helping the Bulls claw back from a 10-point deficit with 10 minutes remaining.
LaVine had 12 in the fourth quarter, made the shot to force a second overtime, and kept it going with the Bulls' first five points of the final period. He ended up with 39 on identical shooting to DeRozan (15-of-25 from the field), continuing his excellent form since the All-Star break.
He came into Friday's contest averaging 30.7 points while shooting 54.8 per cent from the field, 47.5 per cent from deep and 91.5 per cent from the free throw line in the nine games since the break.
For the Timberwolves, Kyle Anderson put up his second triple-double from the past three games with 11 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, while Rudy Gobert posted 21 points (eight-of-14) and 19 rebounds.
But the big story out of Minnesota will be the health of franchise player Anthony Edwards, after he went down with what looked like a serious ankle injury in the first half.
The win keeps the Bulls (32-37) just a half-game inside the play-in tournament placings.
DeMar ties it with 20 seconds left! @DeMar_DeRozan | @NBCSChicago pic.twitter.com/KH3uq54E5G— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 18, 2023
Kyrie puts away the Lakers
The Dallas Mavericks have won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month after a buzzer-beating 111-110 road win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
They were buoyed by the return of Kyrie Irving after a three-game injury absence, and he dominated the contest with a game-high 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting, with six rebounds and six assists.
Anthony Davis was strong for the Lakers with a team-high 26 points (nine-of-14), but a missed free throw with six seconds remaining meant his side only led by two instead of three. That proved to be the difference as Irving found Maxi Kleber for the game-winning three-pointer.
A win would have pulled the Lakers up into a tie for eighth, and left them just one game out of the six seed, but instead they fell to 34-37 and are in a tie for the 10th seed.
MAXI ED GAME@MaxiKleber | #TissotBuzzerBeater pic.twitter.com/kDOBJsLxGT— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) March 18, 2023
Tatum and Brown deliver another Celtics win
All-Star Boston Celtics duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 61 points as they overcame the Portland Trail Blazers 126-112 on the road.
The Celtics had to deal with another big Damian Lillard outburst as he piled on a game-high 41 points (12-of-23 shooting), although his seven turnovers hurt the Blazers.
Tatum shot eight-of-20 and 16-of-18 from the free throw line for his team-high 34 points and 12 rebounds, while Brown was 12-of-23 for 27 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Veteran center Al Horford finished one assist shy of his career-high with 10.
The win is the Celtics' fourth from their past five games, pulling them to within 1.5 games of the Eastern Conference leading Milwaukee Bucks.
The Jays are on the run pic.twitter.com/mBFvhbwETY— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 18, 2023