DeMar DeRozan Sounds Off on Nic Batum After Clippers Beat Bulls

Chicago Bulls

Getty Nicolas Batum #33 of the LA Clippers.

It had been eight years since the Chicago Bulls allowed at least 20 points to veteran Nicolas Batum, now with the Los Angeles Clippers.

He changed that with eight of the Clippers’ 20 threes in a 124-112 win on March 27.

“We was a step slow with everything,” Bulls star DeMar DeRozan said in a video shared to Twitter by Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “Either we was helping in, and they was finding guys kicking it out or vice versa. We didn’t make guys put the ball on the floor. They got shots off and they got a rhythm, they start knocking them down.”

DeRozan seemed to almost be avoiding mentioning Batum – who finished with a game-high 24 points all on the strength of that 8-for-10 showcase from beyond the arc. The Bulls were on the second night of a back-to-back after an emotional win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Clippers were without Paul George and Norman Powell but they still had Kawhi Leonard, turning a five-point deficit after one quarter into a 99-77 edge at halftime.

“We didn’t break no rhythm whatsoever,” DeRozan said. “They was hot, they stayed hot. We didn’t give ourselves a chance to get back in the game.

“We turned the ball over, we let them get in transition, we had too many transition points given up. The first half, turned the ball over too many times. We just didn’t have good enough possessions offensively consistently enough to hang in there. Especially with them shooting the way that they shot. We just didn’t give ourselves a chance at no point of the game. Hats off to him – them. They hit 20-plus threes. Once that happens, it’s tough to beat anybody.”

In addition to Batum, Eric Gordon knocked down 5-of-9 threes en route to 22 points while Leonard knocked down three triples as part of his 22 points. Two other Clippers – Bones Hyland and Terance Mann each knocked in a pair. One-time Bulls free-agent target Russell Westbrook missed all three of his deep looks but Chicago constantly let them get out in transition.

DeRozan finished the evening with 21 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and a pair of steals to go with two of the Bulls’ 14 turnovers. The Bulls won the turnover battle for the game but committed 10 giveaways in the second and third quarters combined.

DeMar DeRozan Gets Honest About Bulls’ Needs

“We got two games out of [three on this road trip],” he said. But…we need every single game down the stretch. We got seven left. Going back home, play the Lakers again. So we got to start a rhythm from there.”

The Bulls would be wise to heed DeRozan’s words and their own history.

“I feel like it was the same thing, you go down and win in Philly,” Donovan said via Mayberry about the Bulls’ loss to the 76ers on March 22. It was a hard-fought game, double overtime. And, it started from the beginning, getting down whatever it was – 17-nothing, 17-to-1, 19-to-3 – and we were just constantly playing catch-up…You know they’re going to come back and respond. That’s what good teams do.”

As if that weren’t enough, at least one Laker is looking for revenge.

Lakers’ Anthony Davis Sends Ominous Warning

The Bulls held Anthony Davis to 15 points and got him into early foul trouble, though he still grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists. It is no wonder that he wants a little “get back” in his return to Chicago.

Chicago and Los Angeles are both still jockeying for positioning in their respective Play-In Tournament races.

Wednesday’s tilt is sure to be an interesting one.