Bulls Insider

Dosunmu basks in hometown love from United Center

/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Bulls Insider

Before unexpected mop-up time that he helped create necessitated his return, Ayo Dosunmu checked out to a partial standing ovation from the United Center crowd with 4 minutes, 10 seconds remaining Monday night.

Zach LaVine, in between free-throw attempts, was already standing. So why not? He joined in.

“If he sneezes out there, the crowd will get excited,” DeMar DeRozan said of the hometown love for Dosunmu. “You definitely gotta feed off it.”

The Chicago Bulls received multiple contributions during their run-away-and-hide act in the fourth quarter of their 118-95 takedown of the Nets. But Dosunmu landed right in the middle of many of the signature plays from the 42-17 decimation in the final period.

He notched a traditional three-point play with an aggressive drive for a four-point lead with 9:41 to play. He snatched a defensive rebound away from LaMarcus Aldridge. He sank a 3-pointer off a Lonzo Ball feed that elicited a roar and produced a 14-point advantage with 4:56 left.

“I definitely see it. I feel it too,” Dosunmu said of the crowd’s love for him. “I just try to embrace it.”

Before the game, coach Billy Donovan said Coby White had been cleared for full contact practice. If White continues progressing with no setbacks, his return is imminent.

But in the good-problem-to-have department, Dosunmu is making a case to stick in the rotation regardless of White’s role. The rookie finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds and posted a team-high plus-22.

 

“Whether Coach Donovan plays me two minutes or 15-20 minutes, I try to come in with energy and positivity and just have fun,” Dosunmu said. “I think when you do something you love and you have fun, that’s when your natural instincts come out. I try to impact the game any way I can.”

For good measure, Dosunmu scored on two layups in the final minute after he returned when the starters checked out of the game. None received as loud an ovation as the kid from Morgan Park High School and the University of Illinois.

“He just makes things happen. When he plays, the only thing he’s focused on is trying to win. That’s the kind of competitor he is,” Donovan said. “Whether he scores two points, no points, doesn’t take a shot, he’s going to try to impact winning.”

Mission accomplished on Monday night.

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