NBA: DeRozan back as Bulls down Pistons in Paris clash
PARIS – DeMar DeRozan returned from injury to help lead the Chicago Bulls over the Detroit Pistons in Thursday’s NBA game in Paris, scoring 26 points in a 126-108 win.
The Bulls star had missed the past three games with a right quad strain but was back in the line-up as the French capital hosted its second regular-season game after debuting on the NBA calendar in 2020.
Victor Wembanyama, the 19-year-old French prodigy who is expected to be the first overall pick in this year’s NBA draft — which could belong to the Pistons — was seated courtside.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said ahead of tip-off it is likely another game will be held in Paris in 2024, the third of its kind after the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Charlotte Hornets three years ago.
Pistons guard Killian Hayes, who grew up in France, received a thunderous ovation when the starters were introduced, but Chicago started quickly and DeRozan gradually found his groove.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine top-scored with 30 while center Nikola Vucevic added 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Derrick Jones Jr was one of four other Chicago players to reach double digits after a series of spectacular dunks.
Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with 25 points and Jalen Duren had a double-double. Duren, the NBA’s youngest player at 19 years old, was late arriving in France after misplacing his passport.
But it was a difficult night for Hayes as the 21-year-old dished out eight assists but was limited to four points, and had as many fouls.
Chicago (21-24) sit 10th in the Eastern Conference while Detroit are in last place at 12-36. Only the Houston Rockets (10-35) have a worse record.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.