Whether the message got across or Zach LaVine was refuting its necessity in the first place, the Bulls guard responded to an in-game benching against Miami on Friday with a spectacular Saturday performance.
LaVine, who was subbed out less than four minutes into Friday’s loss to the Heat, canned a franchise-record 13 3-pointers in Chicago’s 116-115 barnburner over the Hornets. The last three of his career-high 49 points were the most dramatic and least likely: a fadeaway 3 made possible only after Chicago stole the inbounds pass with Charlotte leading by two.
LaVine’s game-winner went down with just 0.8 seconds remaining, giving Chicago a dramatic win just 24 hours after postgame drama punctuated another poor start to the Bulls’ season.
Friday saw Chicago coach Jim Boylen replace LaVine after the Bulls fell behind 13-0.
“I thought he needed to come in and think about it,” Boylen told reporters after the game. “I felt there were some defensive mistakes that didn’t need to be made. I thought he needed to come over and think about it for a minute.”
LaVine did not seem eager to agree.
“I guess I was to blame for it,” he said noncomittally. “I’ve got pulled early before by him. I guess that’s just his thing to do. You have to take it in stride. I’m not the coach.”
Boylen likely had no issues with LaVine on hit a sizzling 13-of-17 from beyond the arc on Saturday (17-of-28 overall) in 35 minutes of action. The 3-point shooting spree ties Stephen Curry for second-most makes in NBA history behind Klay Thompson’s record 14 made 3s.
Players in @NBAHistory with 13+ threes made in a game:
Klay Thompson (14, 10/29/2018)
Steph Curry (13, 11/07/2016)
Zach LaVine (13, 11/23/2019) pic.twitter.com/bPZXWrLL0N
— NBA (@NBA) November 24, 2019