Rookie Lauri Markkanen dunks on Kanter, Makes 8 threes & Outduels Porzingis!
Ben Simmons, Kyle Kuzma Lonzo Ball, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Dennis Smith Jr are the rookies getting the most attention but Bulls fans know they have a gem in Lauri Markkanen, who came to the Bulls in the Jimmy Butler trade.
The 20-year-old rookie knocked down 8 threes on his way to a career-high 33 points and 10 boards in a OT win vs Porzingis and the Knicks on Wednesday.
“For Lauri to come in on the big stage, the World’s Most Famous Arena, and hit eight 3s and play against arguably the best power forward in the league in Porzingis (24 PTS, 6 REBS, 4 BLKS), play 46 minutes and hit those big free throws late, just tells you everything you need to know,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Hoiberg also said he “damn near passed out” when Markkanen posterized Enes Kanter in the third quarter.
Markkanen’s previous career-high came in late December, when he put up 32 points in a win against the Pacers. Counting that game, he’s averaged 20.3 points and 8.5 boards in his previous 8 games.
Other stats worth noting is his 33-point performance makes him just the fifth Bulls rookie to ever score 33+; Ben Gordon (05), Elton Brand (00), Charles Oakley (86) and of course, Michael Jordan (84), are the others. The eight threes ties Chris Duhon (05) for most by a Bulls rookie.