Bulls' comeback vs. Bucks was historically improbable


With 2 minutes, 18 seconds to play in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, the Chicago Bulls trailed by 11 points.

In that moment, all felt lost — and with good reason. According to ESPN Stats & Info, NBA teams over the last 20 years were 5-12,535 when trailing by 11 or more points with 2:30 or less to play in a game.

However, in improbable fashion, the Bulls became just the sixth of 12,536 teams in the last 20 years to overcome such a deficit, staging a 13-2 run in the final 138 seconds of the contest and eventually prevailing in overtime.

A run like that does not occur without a slew of heroes, so Bulls fan can thank Zach LaVine, who drilled a 3-pointer and two free throws, Patrick Williams, who made a midrange jumper and supplied a sturdy first line of defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo, and DeMar DeRozan, who scored one bucket in that stretch and also poked away a steal in the final seconds that led to a game-tying dunk by Ayo Dosunmu:

Overtime was no cake walk. The Bulls fell behind 110-106 in the opening minutes of the extra period. But DeRozan dragged them back yet again, scoring 10 of his 42 points on the night in that frame and helping author one of the more exhilirating victories of the season.

The result moved the Bulls to just 15-19 on the season, but they are now 5-1 against the top three teams in the East (Celtics, Nets, Bucks) and have won three straight "clutch" games after starting the season a league-worst 3-11 in such contests.

Whether that is the catalyst for a season-long turnaround remains to be seen. But for the time being, at least the Bulls are in the history books.

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