On the road, the Chicago Bulls didn’t have many fans in the stands of Scotiabank Arena as they faced the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Play-In Tournament on Wednesday night.
But one young fan wanted to do all she could to make sure the Bulls had some sort of advantage.
Diar DeRozan, the daughter of Bulls star DeMar DeRozan, was strategically screaming down by the court when the Raptors were shooting their free throws in the game.
And those screams might have been the X-factor the team needed to pull off their great comeback in a 109-105 win to secure the chance to play for the No. 8 seed in the East.
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Whether you were in the arena or watching on your television, Diar DeRozan’s screams were heard clear as day when the Raptors found themselves about to shoot a free throw. And the stats proved that her efforts didn’t go by the wayside.
The Raptors shot 18-of-36 from the free-throw line, which is not what you want to see from the place known as the charity stripe. That 50% hurt them at the end of the night, especially in the biggest moment of the game.
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Pascal Siakam was fouled behind the three-point line by Alex Caruso, and though it was controversial, he walked to the free throw line down three points, 107-104, with the chance to tie the game.
Siakam hit his first free throw through DeRozan’s scream, but she was determined to keep it going. Siakam missed his next two free throws, and it seemed those screams were the loudest ones of the night.
Nikola Vucevic would knock down his two free throws on the other hand to ice the game, and the Bulls became the first No. 10 seed to win a Play-In Tournament game.
They will now head to Miami to face the No. 7 seed Heat for a chance to land the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference for the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
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DeRozan played a major role in the Bulls’ fourth-quarter comeback, where they outscored the Raptors 37-24. At one point in this game, they were down 19 points.
DeRozan went 10-of-19 from the field for 23 points with seven rebounds and three assists, while Zach LaVine was the clear MVP of the group, willing Chicago back into the game with his 39 points on 12-of-22 from the field with 13-of-15 made at the free throw line as well.
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But an MVP trophy might have to go to Diar DeRozan, who may need to rest those vocal cords a bit after a night of hard work from the stands.