Markkanen drains late 3 to extend Bulls’ leadLauri Markkanen drains a late 3-pointer from the top of the key to keep the Bulls in the lead.
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CHICAGO — The peak of Friday’s tankathon between the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls came late in the third quarter during one of the strangest sequences of the season.

The reason the Mavericks lost is because Bulls forward Bobby Portis had another big night off the bench, scoring 22 points and pulling down five rebounds in 34 minutes. Led by Portis, the Bulls outscored the Mavericks 49-27 in the final 17:55 of regulation to steal a win that much of their fan base would rather they lose in the battle for draft lottery pingpong ball supremacy. The fact that Portis, who was suspended for the first eight games of the season after knocking out former teammate Nikola Mirotic in practice, continues playing the best basketball of his career only reinforces how truly strange the entire season has been for a rebuilding Bulls team.

I think with Bobby, it’s all about confidence, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. He’s not shying Eric Ebron Authentic Jersey away from anything. He’s not shying away from his shot certainly. Sometimes when he gets in that rhythm, he gets in that zone, it’s fun to watch him … it’s great to have Bobby. He plays with such a swagger and a confidence. He brings that energy every time he steps on the floor and we need it.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks estimated that Thomas could fetch a one-year deal in the range of $15 million to $20 million.

There are teams with cap space, but Atlanta, Chicago, Brooklyn, Dallas, Philadelphia and Phoenix all either do not need a point guard, are rebuilding or could draft a point guard.

Thomas could also opt to go the midlevel route for a short-term deal and continue to try to rebuild his value, which is probably the least appealing option.

On this night in Miami, Thomas showed flashes of being the same prolific scorer he was last season in Boston.

I could do it, I’ve done it before, Thomas said of playing the way he did in Boston if given the opportunity. I’m a scorer, I’m a guy that makes plays. So when given that opportunity, I can do it, I’ve showed I can do it but there’s no other way around it. I’m not here to prove to anybody I can do it, the world knows what I bring to the table and my job is just to help this team get to the next level and win.
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