NBA

LaVine questions Bulls benching in Magic loss

By Sports Desk November 19, 2022

Zach LaVine conceded he had a poor night against the Orlando Magic but questioned the decision to leave him off the court in the closing stages as the Chicago Bulls lost 108-107 on Friday.

DeMar DeRozan top scored with 41 as the Bulls fought back in the second half after trailing by 14 at half-time, but the hosts ended up throwing away a four-point advantage with 20 seconds left.

Two-time All-Star LaVine had a night to forget, scoring four points from over 25 minutes on the court as he made just one from 14 field goal attempts, leading to him being left out in the last few minutes by coach Billy Donovan.

"I got to do a better job at the beginning of the game to make my shots, but you play a guy like me down the stretch," LaVine after the game. "That's what I do.

"Do I like the decision? No. Do I have to live with it? Yeah. Be ready to put my shoes on and play the next game.

"Just ask [Donovan] what his decision was, what made him think that way. 

"Obviously, he wanted to go with some other guys out there, I wasn't having the best night shooting, but it's a tough one."

Donovan also cut a frustrated figure after the home defeat, and insisted it was a specific call for the situation in-game.

"I feel like my job, my responsibility in those moments is to try to make the best decisions for the team," Donovan said. "And I thought that was the best decision at the time.

"To me, I don't look at it as anything else but the one-off game where this is what was going on. I know he wanted to be out there.

"There's probably not very many games in his career where [LaVine] hasn't been out there in those moments, but that group was playing well and it gave us a chance."

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