Lauri Markkanen scored his 24th point sometime in the third quarter of this game. A little bit later, he was pulled from the game, never to return. It’s not like he was injured or anything. He was just playing too well, was too hot shooting the ball, and had somehow given the Bulls the lead when a lead is the last thing they want. So he watched the rest of the game from the bench while drinking Gatorade, cracking jokes with his teammates, and generally living the lavish lifestyle of a guy who knows he won’t have to check back in.
Then the mondo scrub lineups that Hoiberg played in the fourth quarter managed not to relinquish the lead, and the Bulls won the damn game. Dunn, LaVine, and Valentine were all out. Lopez didn’t play. Yet the Bulls’ scrub unit got it done against the Hornets. If they’re gonna win the game, they might as well leave Lauri Legend in there so he can get forty points or at least thirty points. Lauri spent the first two and a half quarters of the game sabotaging the tank, but it was that scrub unit anchored by Sean Kilpatrick that ripped the treads off and set it on fire.