© Reuters. NBA: Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks
The Minnesota Timberwolves thought Zach LaVine was going to become a star when they picked him in the 13th poll in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The Timberwolves were correct in that assessment, but LaVine’s notoriety was Chicago, and it will be on display again when the cops visit Minnesota on Sunday night.
LaVine is fresh from his career top 50 in a 120-108 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. The All-Star Guard had 39 points in the first half and easily scored a goal that stunned Nikola Vucevic’s recent takeover of Chicago.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of anything like that. It looked so simple,” said Vucevic. “He didn’t force – it just felt so natural to him. And it was so efficient. It was nice to see. Everything he does just looks so effortless.
“Even the way he runs, how he moves, how he jumps. He’s so athletic and yet so skilled. I wish we could have done better and helped win the game and make this night even more special for him . “
LaVine made 18 of 31 shots from the field, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. He also contributed eight rebounds and five assists.
Despite his great performance, the Bulls have lost for the ninth time in their last 13 games. That took a little shine from the performance in LaVine’s eyes.
“Of course I would prefer to win now,” said 26-year-old LaVine. “I just got into a rhythm. My three have finally started to fall and after that I can get into my middle, to mature. I just got it going. We have the opportunity to go out and establish ourselves and do ours . ” run. We had a big head start. We gave up on him. “
The seventh-year professional is in his fourth season with the Bulls. He played his first three seasons with the Timberwolves before entering the draft night trade in 2017 to acquire Jimmy Butler.
Talk about a deal for the cops. Butler was quickly welcomed in Minnesota, playing just 69 games in two seasons before joining the Philadelphia 76ers.
Meanwhile, LaVine averaged 23.7 points in his second season in Chicago, increasing that average to 25.5 last season and standing at 27.5 this season. He finished seventh in the NBA when he came into the game on Saturday.
Minnesota lost nine of its last 12 games when it started a four-game homestand.
The Timberwolves averaged 136.5 points in their last two competitions and lost both – 141-137 against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and 145-136 in overtime against the Boston Celtics on Friday.
Minnesota saw what a 50-point goalscorer looks like against the Celtics when Jayson Tatum scored the best 53 points of his career.
The Timberwolves led in the third quarter with 17 points, but could not stop Tatum.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 12 rebounds for Minnesota, while D’Angelo Russell had 26 points and rookie Anthony Edwards had 24.
“I thought we fought hard. We gave ourselves some chances,” said Russell. “At the end of the game you can only ask for one chance.”
Russell has averaged 22.7 points in three games since returning from a knee injury that resulted in him being out for almost two months.
The Timberwolves will watch him work with Edwards, the number 1 on the 2020 draft.
Edwards, who averaged 17.9 points per game, has found his move, beating 20 points in seven of their last eight games.
The Bulls won the first meeting of the season, 133-126 in overtime at home on February 24th. LaVine scored 35 points for the Bulls while Malik Beasley scored 25 points for leading the Timberwolves.
Beasley is out with a hamstring injury.
– Field level media