Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso plays late-game hero again for Bulls

Buzzer-beating 3-pointer forced OT in unlikely victory over the Bucks

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For the second time this season, Alex Caruso sank a huge 3-pointer in a Chicago Bulls victory.

He's now shooting 47.5 percent on a career-high 3.6 attempts from beyond the arc.

So, surely, Caruso has plans to participate in the 3-point shootout at All-Star weekend, right?

"Nope," Caruso said, taking the bait on the lighthearted question. "I've got vacation plans."

Caruso, who sank a huge 3-pointer late in the wild overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors in the second game of the season, beat the regulation buzzer with a game-tying 3-pointer that forced overtime. That's where the Bulls prevailed 120-113.

"I had a lot of turnovers so I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose the game," said Caruso, who had seven of the Bulls' season-high 21 miscues.

Unsurprisingly, Caruso used his basketball IQ before he flashed his basketball skill.

"I cut over the top. Vooch (Nikola Vucevic) got the catch. I set the dummy flare screen for Coby (White)," Caruso said. "I heard (the Bucks coaches) tell (the Bucks players) that they were going to switch 1 through 5. So I kind of knew with the play that Coach drew up that either they were going to both come with me towards Vooch or they both were going to go away. And I tried to time it right so they messed up the switch.

"Got a little bit of space. Got a handoff from Vooch. Brook (Lopez) stepped up. I just tried to make sure I tested downhill to get a little bit of space. And I did. Shot it. Rose up. Made it."

Caruso made it sound like his game-winning, off-balance 3-pointer on a play originally designed for White was easy. It wasn't.

"I don’t think it’s that difficult because I shoot that a lot in the summer playing open gym and then playing in August and September when we come back with the guys," Caruso said. "I just don’t get the opportunity to shoot a lot because usually I’m the guy taking the ball out. I was excited that I got to shoot."

And his teammates were excited to mob him after his big shot.

"I’ve hit a couple now. And I’m exhausted. Or my foot hurts. And I’m trying to get back to the bench. And it’s like salmon swimming upstream. I’m excited and I’m hyped myself. But they keep bumping me and I’m not making any headway getting closer to the bench," Caruso joked. "It’s always fun. Whenever we support each other and give energy like that, it just raises everybody’s level up."

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