The Chicago Bulls carved out another hard-earned win on Thursday night after narrowly escaping the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 119-115.

The Bulls squandered a huge 21-point lead and allowed the Knicks to storm back, with the home team even taking the driver's seat in the fourth quarter. But wingman DeMar DeRozan came through for the Bulls, scoring 18 of his 34 markers in the final frame to salvage the victory.

DeRozan's fellow high-scoring All-Star Zach LaVine acknowledged the presence of the veteran stud on the Bulls. He said DeRozan's presence serves as a calming factor for them (via ESPN):

“It helps our team tremendously, especially if we're like, frantic. I think it just gives the whole team a sense of, like, a deep breath.”

Some observers felt the Bulls‘ acquisition of DeRozan was a bad decision, noting that the high-flying four-time All-Star has already played out his prime years. But lo and behold, the 32-year-old is having arguably his finest season yet, as he has become one of the early MVP contenders.

After the Bulls' tough win over the Knicks, DeRozan said he enjoys hurdling challenges:

“It's fun when we go out there and compete. We face adversity at times and it felt good when we come out of that on top.”

The Bulls improved to 15-8 for second place in the Eastern Conference behind the Brooklyn Nets, who they will face next on Saturday.