Zach LaVine Responds in Big Way, Drops 13 Three-Pointers in Wild Win
How’s that for a response?
After garnering criticism from his head coach Jim Boylan, Zach LaVine responded with the performance of his life in a nail-biting 116-115 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. The Chicago Bulls young star finished the night with 49 points, hitting 13 three-pointers, one shy of tying Klay Thompson of the NBA’s single game record.
“We’ve been playing good in stretches. We just executed to perfection down the stretch. Obviously, you know, we got blessed a little bit with some luck. We can take this energy and go on to the next game. Hopefully this is that turning point for us. Every team has it. This could be a big step for us in the right direction,” said LaVine after the game.
Boylan commented on LaVine’s performance following the win.
“My job is to push the guy to a place he can’t take himself, and that happens sometimes with tough conversations, meetings and maybe some uncomfortable moments, but that’s what my job is. The credit needs to go to him and his focus, energy and his effort. He is always good when we coach him and talk to him. He wants to play better, I want him to play better and I am really happy for him.”
With 13 three-pointers, LaVine tied Steph Curry for second most threes hit in a single NBA game. The performance comes off the heels of an uncomfortable exchange between LaVine and Boylan, who pulled the former UCLA star out of the game for putting forth a poor effort on the defensive side of the ball in a loss to the Miami Heat.
“I thought, ‘He needs a break.’ I thought he needed to come in and think about it. I felt there were some defensive mistakes that didn’t need to be made. I thought he needed to come over and think about it for a minute,” said Boylen following the 116-108 loss.
LaVine did not shy away from his coach’s comments.
“I’m trying my best, I’ll say that,” responded LaVine. “I’m playing my minutes and trying to do the best I can do. It’s tough, especially when you’re in a rut. If he doesn’t trust me, it’s hard to trust someone who doesn’t trust you.”
With last night’s victory, the Bulls improved to 6-11 and sit just one game back of the Orlando Magic who occupy the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.