Five of Luol Deng's best games as a Bull
Sam Smith looks back at five of Luol Deng's best moments as a Bull
Remind Me Later •
On Thursday, Luol Deng signed a one-day contract with the Bulls to end his career where it started: in Chicago. Here are five of Luol Deng's best on-court moments and games in a Bulls uniform:
April 21, 2007: Bulls 96, Heat 91 (Playoffs Game 1)
Deng Stat Line: 33 points (14-22 FG), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 46 minutes played
Deng was a big game player. He led the Bulls with 33 points and eight rebounds in the Bulls 96-91 victory to kick off one of the era’s great upsets, the four-game playoff sweep of defending champion Miami with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. With no game with fewer than 22 points, Deng would average 26.3 points and nine rebounds for the series, leading all players from both teams in scoring and rebounding.
March 6, 2011: Bulls 87, Heat 86
Deng Stat Line: 18 points (7-15 FG), 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 rebounds, 42 minutes played
Deng made three free throws in the last 17.3 seconds for a team most nine fourth quarter points among his 18 to complete the season sweep of the Heat with an 87-86 victory that left Heat players crying in frustration in the locker room afterward. Deng made one free throw and missed the second with Miami leading by two. Joakim Noah tipped the ball to Deng, who was then fouled. He made both and then defended James’ last shot to win the game.
November 1, 2010: Bulls 110, Blazers 98
Deng Stat Line: 40 points (14-19 FG), 3-5 3PT, 9-11 FT, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 40 minutes
Deng scored his career-high 40 points in the third game of the season in the Bulls 110-98 win over the Portland Trailblazers to announce the Bulls as serious contenders in what was almost that magical season with 62 wins and the Eastern Conference finals. Deng, as was typical of that season, had the team’s highest plus/minus rating in the game.
February 24, 2011: Bulls 93, Heat 89
Deng Stat Line: 20 points (7-12 FG), 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 40 minutes
Deng on a pass from Derrick Rose made a left corner three with 16 seconds left as the difference in the Bulls 93-89 victory over Miami. The Bulls would go on to sweep the Heat in the regular season with the one-point win in Miami thanks to Deng’s clutch free throws in the March game and announce what would have been the rivalry of the era if not for Rose’s injury. Deng finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal.
March 24, 2012: Bulls 102, Raptors 101 (OT)
Deng Stat Line: 23 points (10-24 FG), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 50 minutes
A dramatic closing moment for Deng, grabbing C.J. Watson’s attempted winner that came up short and easing it into the basket at the buzzer for a 102-101 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors. Deng had 23 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals in playing 50 minutes as the Bulls steamed down the stretch toward another best record in the league. Rose’s ACL tear would short-circuit that hopeful season. Then overcoming the depression and sadness, it was Deng playing without Rose, Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler who led the Bulls to their last victory that season over the 76ers with 24 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals playing 43 minutes. The 76ers would close out the Bulls season the next game in Philadelphia by a point despite 19 points and a career playoff high 17 rebounds from Deng.