No one can call Kyle Kuzma a sore loser. The Washington Wizards’ young star seems to be perhaps as big of a fan of his opponents as he is a competitor.
After the Chicago Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan sunk the Wizards with a crazy, contested corner three-pointer as time expired on New Year’s Day, Kuzma said this in his postgame presser. Mind you, Kuzma had just drained his own three seconds before that put the Wizards up by 2.
In case you missed Kuzma and DeRozan’s shots, here they are:
Kuzma wasn’t the only non-Bulls player marveling at DeRozan’s second game-winning three in as many nights, but it was a little strange to hear him some gleefully reference a shot that led to a gut-wrenching loss the Wizards will have to ask themselves about for a few days.
This isn’t the first time Kuzma has been caught congratulating an opponent for a sick bucket. Earlier in the week, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie big man Evan Mobley pulled off a Julius Erving-like reverse layup and Kuzma actually dapped him up immediately on the floor.
That used to be a no-no, but I suppose it’s a part of the new NBA rules.
The Bulls Had No Business Winning This Game
The Wizards led this game by as many as 13 points and they controlled it through the first half and most of the second. The shot a higher percentage from the field and piled up 72 points in the paint. Washington’s bench also outscored the Bulls’ reserves 21-6.
How did Chicago win it? Zach LaVine kept them in the game with an excellent shooting and scoring night. He mad 11 of 22 shots from the field including 7 three-point field goals. Coby White was huge in a starting role in the place of Lonzo Ball who just made it out of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
White finished with 20 points, 5 assists and no turnovers. He made some huge shots and big hustle plays on the defensive end, just as he did on New Year’s Eve to help set up DeRozan’s game-winner against the Indiana Pacers.
Nikola Vucevic struggled taking advantage of some of his mismatches in the post, but ultimately he put up solid numbers which included a couple of nice post-up buckets in the fourth, and a crucial offensive rebound off a missed free throw from DeRozan. It led to a three-point play that was also big. Vucevic had 22 points and 12 rebounds
Kyle Kuzma Played Really Well
Don’t take Kuzma’s happy-go-lucky approach as a measuring stick for his effort on the floor. He gave a great effort against the Bulls.
He knocked down the clutch three that would have been the game-winner if not for DeRozan’s heroics. Kuzma finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.
As he mentioned, DeRozan and the Bulls showed him up on his home floor.
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