Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso is often acclaimed for doing the things that don't show up in the box score. His high motor, tenacious defense and valued leadership presence all allowed him to become a contributor on an NBA championship team in 2020. The 29-year-old was not the unsung hero Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, however.
Caruso knocked down a game-tying 3-point basket as time expired to send the action into overtime, where the Bulls (6-14) finished off the Bucks (13-6) for an incomprehensible 120-113 home victory. DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine did not play for Chicago, which is sure to make this outcome sting far more for Milwaukee.
A short-handed squad who was in the midst of a five-game losing streak needed a few guys to step up. Nikola Vucevic enjoyed a big night (29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists) and the team shot the ball efficiently (46 percent from the field and 35 percent from distance). Caruso provided fans with the highlight of the night, though. And he was even humble about it.
“Alex Caruso said he had to hit that 3-pointer to force overtime because he had 5 turnovers,” K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago posted on X. The veteran actually added to his myriad of mishaps in the extra period, finishing with seven turnovers.
Such sloppiness is inexcusable, but Caruso came through in the most dire of situations. Fans are unlikely to harp on the blunders after he played such a big role in securing the most exhilarating win of what has mostly been a miserable season to this point. The Bulls will try to build off this hard-fought result when the New Orleans Pelicans (10-9) arrive at the United Center on Saturday.