DeRozan psychs out Brunson during late-game free throws

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DeMar DeRozan is a big proponent of the mental side of basketball.

You can hear it in the way he often analogizes games to boxing matches — and the fourth quarter to the "championship round." You can see it in the way he victimizes opposing defenders with waves of pump fakes before drilling a jumper or earning a trip to the free throw line.

And it was apparent in the final seconds of the Chicago Bulls' 118-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday, particularly as Knicks guard Jalen Brunson stepped to the free throw line with his side ahead 117-116 and six seconds to play in regulation.

Watch as DeRozan circles — and exchanges words with — Brunson as the latter prepared for the critical foul shots:

Brunson, an 87.5 percent free-throw shooter on the season, missed both — and badly, to boot. That gave the Bulls the ball back with six seconds to play and a chance to advance to midcourt after a timeout.

DeRozan took care of the rest by authoring another scintillating clutch moment to add to his lengthy rolodex during his time with the Bulls:

The Knicks, as a team, lost this game at the free throw line. They shot 15-for-26 (57.7 percent) from the stripe in the game and 9-for-15 (60 percent) in the fourth quarter, including 0-for-4 in the final 66 seconds between Brunson's misses and an 0-for-2 trip for Quentin Grimes exactly one minute prior.

When they opened the door of opportunity, the Bulls were amply prepared to seize it.

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