Bulls praise Nikola Vucevic after career night against Warriors

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Bulls on Vucevic’s career night: ‘He’s so dynamic’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bulls ended their three-game losing streak on Sunday with a 132-118 win over the Warriors, and they did it in large part thanks to a career night from Nikola Vucevic. The Bulls big man had his ninth-straight double-double, tied a career high with 43 points, worked well as a facilitator for others, and contributed on the defensive end.

“Tonight what I thought really made a difference, the reason why I was able to get going was because we really moved the ball,” Vucevic said on Bulls Postgame Live. “We really played aggressively offensively and I was able to get into my spots.

“We weren’t stagnant like the game before so it was much easier to play within the flow of the offense. A lot of my shots, I really didn’t have to work too much for it. Just open looks, threes, or inside, so when you play that way the game’s much easier for everyone.”

Vucevic made things look easy since he was humming in nearly every facet of the game. In addition to the 43 points, Vucevic had 13 rebounds, four assists and four steals. He was able to score from all over the court, too.

“He’s so dynamic because he can shoot the three, play the pocket, he can make the floater, the hook shot,” said Ayo Dosunmu. “He’s got all of that in his bag. He’s also unselfish, so sometimes he gets in the pick and roll, if he doesn’t have it he hits the weakside person.

“I love playing with him because he can not only score, he can rebound, he’s good in pick and roll, he wants to see other people succeed, and I like that about him.”

The Bulls entered Sunday’s game as home underdogs, even before DeMar DeRozan was ruled out due to a quad injury. It became clear pretty early that Vucevic was up to the task of stepping up in DeRozan’s absence though. Vucevic opened the game by scoring 12 of the Bulls’ first 24 points on 5-7 shooting.

“You could see off the get go that he had the hot hand, and we played off of him,” said Zach LaVine. “That’s what you can do when you’ve got a guy like that. It was great.”

After the game, Billy Donovan insinuated he’d like to get Vucevic more involved on offense moving forward.

“I think we’ve got to try to establish him as much as we can,” Donovan said. “It’s not necessarily so much trying to get him to score, it’s establishing when the ball’s in his hands because he’s a really good facilitator, he doesn’t really force a lot of shots. There’s times when he gets up against the clock where he’s gotta force one maybe, but for the most part he’s a really good ball mover. I think the biggest thing is keeping him in rhythm is just getting the ball in his hands.

“Even if he didn’t score, I think it’s important that he’s engaged in the game for us, offensively.”

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