The Rundown: Bulls go 4-0; Markkanen, Collins unleash poster dunks

Published October 26, 2021, 3:00 PMMiguel Flores

The Chicago Bulls, behind the late-game heroics of DeMar DeRozan, tamed the Toronto Raptors to stay undefeated.


Celtics 140, Hornets 129

Bucks 119, Pacers 109

Hawks 122, Pistons 104

Nets 104, Wizards 90

Heat 107, Magic 90

Bulls 111, Raptors 108

Pelicans 107, Timberwolves 98

Cavaliers 99, Nuggets 87

Clippers 116, Trail Blazers 86

What went down

Of the two remaining undefeated teams in the East coming into today, only one left unscathed.

The Charlotte Hornets, riding the momentum of a resounding road win against the Brooklyn Nets yesterday, were on the verge of knocking off the Boston Celtics, who were also on the second night of a back-to-back.

A flurry of haymakers from Jayson Tatum and LaMelo Ball turned into sloppy play at the tail-end of the fourth quarter, with both teams swapping turnovers to send the game to overtime. The Celtics, still reeling from a pair of early season losses, found their groove in the extra period with Dennis Schröeder and Robert Williams lifting the hammer for Jaylen Brown to drive the nail into the coffin of Charlotte’s franchise-best 3-0 start.

In Toronto, the Chicago Bulls’ perfect start was in danger of ending after the Raptors trimmed their 20-point third-quarter lead down to four, 106-102, with less than two minutes to go.

Luckily for the Bulls, they have one of the best Raptors ever on their side.

DeMar DeRozan drilled all the big shots for the Bulls down the stretch to close out Toronto. He finished with 26 points. Chicago locked up a 4-0 start, their best start since the 1997-98 season.

While the Hornets saw their streak end and drop to 3-1, they still had plenty of reasons to be happy. Miles Bridges was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week while Ball just went toe-to-toe with Tatum and came away with 25 points, including seven triples, and nine assists. This has to be the best time to be a Hornets fan in a while.

Big-time baller

Jonas Valanciunas probably read about Karl Anthony-Towns’ pregame routine and showed him what a Silverback Gorilla was like up close.

The Lithuanian carried the New Orleans Pelicans to their first win, hanging 22 points, 23 rebounds, and two blocks on Towns’ Timberwolves. New Orleans likely won’t make a lot of waves this season until Zion Williamson comes back but they will surprise anyone not ready for Valanciunas.

What he said

Yesterday, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings on the back of a typical, wonderful Steph Curry performance. While the defending scoring champ didn’t have an off-night, he did get his first look at Kings rookie Davion Mitchell.

Mitchell’s first three games have seen him guard Curry, Donovan Mitchell, and Damian Lillard. All three had to work hard against the former Baylor Bear. Rookies are hard to project but Mitchell already looks like he’s going to be a long-time NBA veteran.

Did you see that?

We already saw Jaylen Brown’s poster, but we had a couple more dunk-of-the-year candidates today. In what was a harbinger for an upset, Lauri Markkanen saw Nikola Jokic and asked, “Is this your MVP?”

John Collins, on the other hand, had a trio of monster dunks against the Detroit Pistons. This alley-oop finish over Kelly Olynyk served as the perfect curtain call to a blowout win.


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