CHICAGO — Chicago Bulls All-Star forward DeMar Derozan kept up his offensive streak before the All-Star break and set an NBA record in Wednesday’s 125-118 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
DeRozan scored 38 points on 16-for-27 (59%) shooting Wednesday, making him the first player in NBA history to score 35 points while shooting more than 50% from the field in seven straight games. DeRozan surpassed a mark set by Wilt Chamberlain, who had two such streaks of six straight games, the last of which came in 1963.
“Just to be in the record books along with the staples of basketball history, [estoy] speechless,” DeRozan said after Wednesday’s game. “As a kid, as a fan of the history of the game, being in the League as long as I’ve been, things like that continue to humble me even more.
“It’s something I’ll never take for granted. And the crazy thing is, I feel like I missed eight easy shots that I normally would have made. I feel like I had a bad night of shooting, honestly.”
During his streak, maybe shooting 16-of-27 is what qualifies as a bad shooting night for DeRozan. He is averaging 38.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 60.7% shooting in his last seven games.
DeRozan has also scored at least 30 points in eight straight games, the longest streak by a Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1996. DeRozan is tied with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid for the longest streak of 30 or more points by a player. this season.
When asked to describe his current scoring streak, DeRozan responded, “I can’t.”
“I’ll be honest with you, I can’t. I can’t describe it,” he said. “It’s one of those things that I’m completely focused on as soon as I get to work. I understand, I want to be able to walk out of work with a win by any means necessary.”
DeRozan’s heroism has helped the Bulls to five straight wins, despite fellow All-Star Zach LaVine missing the past three games to see a specialist in Los Angeles for his left knee injury.
With a win on Wednesday, the Bulls will enter the All-Star break at least tied with the Miami Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference.
“I’m hopeful that we can be complete at some point, I think I’d like to see what this whole group can do,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “I’m very, very grateful and appreciative, up to this point in the All-Star break, we’ve had some really good times and some not-so-good times, which is typical, the way these guys have continued to fight, regardless of whether it’s been a win or a loss.”