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DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine Lead Bulls Past Trae Young, Hawks for 4th Straight Win

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 28, 2021

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 27: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls rebounds and heads up court during the first half against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on December 27, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls keep finding ways to win. The Atlanta Hawks can't seem to find any consistency this season.

Led by the dynamic duo of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls knocked off Atlanta 130-118 on Monday night.

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

ZACH LAVINE DOUBLE-CLUTCH DUNK ๐Ÿ˜ฎ <a href="https://t.co/slzlCYqDk0">pic.twitter.com/slzlCYqDk0</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

LaVine left 'em in the dust ๐Ÿ˜ณ <a href="https://t.co/1UeMYzKnGO">pic.twitter.com/1UeMYzKnGO</a>

Bulls Talk @NBCSBulls

DeRozan is the only player in the NBA we'd trust to take 90% of his shots <a href="https://t.co/1tgYCDHj7e">pic.twitter.com/1tgYCDHj7e</a>

Bulls Talk @NBCSBulls

DeRozan making unbelievable plays in iso, nothing new here <a href="https://t.co/pUvVbrxLz2">pic.twitter.com/pUvVbrxLz2</a>

There wasn't much Atlanta could do against a Bulls team that shot 18-of-37 from three (48.6 percent) and had 29 assists on 51 made field goals.

Chicago (21-10) has now won four games in a row and eight of its last 10, while the Hawks (15-18) find themselves in a 4-9 stretch dating back to late November.

The Bulls and Hawks took very different approaches to the offseason. The Bulls, who missed the playoffs last year, were extremely busy in the summer, adding players like DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, among others.

K.C. Johnson @KCJHoop

The Bulls are about to move to 11 games over .500 for 1st time since finishing 50-32 in on April 15, 2015, Tom Thibodeau's final season as coach.

The Hawks kept their young core intact, meanwhile, after surprisingly reaching the Eastern Conference Finals.

Both approaches made sense. But at least for the moment, the Bulls and Hawks are moving in opposite directions.


Key Stats

Zach LaVine, CHI: 30 points, nine assists

DeMar DeRozan, CHI: 35 points, 10 assists, five rebounds

Nikola Vucevic, CHI: 24 points, 17 rebounds, six assists

Trae Young, ATL: 29 points, nine assists

Cam Reddish, ATL: 33 points

Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL: 20 points


LaVine And DeRozan Were en Fuego

When your two best players combine to shoot 25-of-41 from the field and 7-of-10 from three, post 65 combined points and dish 19 combined assists, well, you're going to be tough to beat.

Put simply, LaVine and DeRozan were awesome Monday night. Just awesome.

NBA @NBA

"What a shot...23 big ones!"<br><br>Zach LaVine ends his highest-scoring 1st half of the season with a buzzer beater on NBA TV ๐Ÿšจ <a href="https://t.co/rtzSPaI0cp">pic.twitter.com/rtzSPaI0cp</a>

NBA.com/Stats @nbastats

Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan are the first pair of teammates to reach 20+ points and 5+ assists in a single half since the start of the play-by-play era (1997-98). <a href="https://twitter.com/EliasSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EliasSports</a> <br><br>LaVine: 23 PTS, 5 AST<br>DeRozan: 21 PTS, 5 AST <a href="https://t.co/6wBsBJxFdv">pic.twitter.com/6wBsBJxFdv</a>

K.C. Johnson @KCJHoop

The LaVine/DeRozan shotmaking ability is just absurd

Ricky O'Donnell @SBN_Ricky

DeRozan is the 42nd highest paid player in the league this season. He went from the worst contract of the offseason to perhaps the best non-rookie scale deal in the NBA. <a href="https://t.co/aei3VU56ew">https://t.co/aei3VU56ew</a>

It was DeRozan's ninth 30-point game of the season and LaVine's 10th. DeRozan also had his first double-double of the year. They were so good that they made Nikola  Vucevic's monster night a virtual afterthought.

There's a reason the Bulls have been one of the top teams in the NBA this season, and it starts with this duo. On a night when Chicago didn't have Ball or Caruso available, LaVine and DeRozan put on an absolute show.


Reddish More Than Did His Part

For the second time in the past four games, Reddish eclipsed the 30-point mark. He made a career-high eight threes. He did his best to give Young a running mate to keep up with the red-hot pair of LaVine and DeRozan on a night when the Hawks were short-handed.

NBA TV @NBATV

Trae Young dishes it out to Reddish for the 3๏ธโƒฃ <a href="https://t.co/KcBTSZBxzS">pic.twitter.com/KcBTSZBxzS</a>

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

CAM REDDISH IS HAVING A CAREER NIGHT โ™จ๏ธ<br><br>๐Ÿ”ฅ 33 Pts<br>๐Ÿ”ฅ 8-10 3 PT FG <a href="https://t.co/zGODKFRttr">pic.twitter.com/zGODKFRttr</a>

Yahoo Sports NBA @YahooSportsNBA

Reddish with the filthy euro for 2๏ธโƒฃ ๐Ÿ˜<a href="https://t.co/XEtEoThcZF">pic.twitter.com/XEtEoThcZF</a>

Ultimately, the Hawks came up short. That isn't on Reddish, though.

It's fair to question his future in Atlanta given the team's stockpile of talented wings and need for a true star next to Young. But if nothing else, he sure is increasing his trade value by the day.

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

And in that vein, Iโ€™d be pretty comfortable giving up a 2022 first for Cam Reddish with ease if the Hawks want one of those. I think I would rather have Reddish than like, the No. 11 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. <a href="https://t.co/94DeumfNWV">https://t.co/94DeumfNWV</a>

Well, if the Hawks dare to trade him at this point, that is.


What's Next?

These teams meet again in Chicago on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.