The Chicago Bulls got a big win on Thursday night over the Los Angeles Clippers 135-130 in overtime. DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Bulls with a 50-point performance as they erased a ten-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
The win is big for the Bulls since it moves them to 45-32 on the season and puts them a half-game ahead of the Raptors for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Chicago is also now just one and a half games behind the Sixers for fourth place.
Williams Breaks Out
One of the most encouraging performances from the Bulls’ win was from second-year forward Patrick Williams. In his seventh game back from injury Williams notched his best performance of the season with a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
All of Williams’s points came in either the fourth quarter or overtime when the Bulls needed him most. In overtime, he scored five straight points first on a dunk then on a corner three both giving the Bulls a four-point lead.
Williams played the most minutes he’s played since his return from injury with 37. He also had a perfect shooting night going 4-4 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range.
The 20-year old admitted after the game that his performance came on the heels of a mistake he made earlier in the day.
“I’m not sure if you guys know, but I was actually late to shootaround this morning,” Williams said, “I just felt like I had let the guys down and I had missed part of the film session and I just felt like I let the guys down so tonight wanted to come out here and just give my all let the guys know I’m still locked in. This late in the season we can’t afford to have guys late to shootaround and things like that so I definitely apologize to those guys and just said I was going to give it my all and was able to make some shots.”
Williams also said that he was fined and he didn’t have an excuse for being late. He clearly responded and was able to make up for his mistake with his play. DeRozan couldn’t believe that Williams told the media about his tardiness.
“He said that?,” DeRozan asked, “I got to tell him not to say that to the media, he’s tripping.”
“You get on him and at the same time you turn it into a joke at the same time, but you definitely get on him…he made sure he was an hour earlier for his time tonight, so it won’t happen again.”
Five Games Left
Williams’s breakout performance comes at a great time for the Bulls as they head into their last five games of the regular season. During this final stretch of games, Chicago will play five playoff teams including their next three games against the Heat, Bucks, and Celtics.
The closing stretch of the season will be a good test before the Bulls start the playoffs. It will also be important for Chicago to play well for both seeding and confidence. If the Bulls can get this kind of performance from Williams consistently then it will certainly help their chances.