The Bulls came into Wednesday's play-in game against the Raptors with a known contributor in DeMar Derozan, but he wasn't the only DeRozan making noise at the Scotiabank Arena. DeRozan's 9-year-old daughter, Diar, was seen screaming at Raptors players as they went to the free-throw line throughout the game.
It seems Diar DeRozan's tactics worked, as Toronto -- a team that shot 78.4% from the line during the regular season -- missed a season-high 18 of its 36 free throw attempts in a 109-105 loss.
"My daughter called me the other day when she was getting out of school and she just said, 'Dad, can I come to the Toronto game?'" said DeRozan, who was drafted by the Raptors in 2009. "I remember her going to all the Toronto games when she was a kid and I almost said no because she's in school back home. But she kept asking. She was just adamant about coming to support and I said, 'All right, you can miss one day of school and come to a game.'"
While the Raptors' struggles from the charity stripe played a pivotal role in their loss, the Bulls made a commendable effort to even be in the game by the fourth quarter. Chicago trailed by double digits after the first half and by as much as 19 in the third quarter, but Zach LaVine willed his team to victory with 30 second-half points (giving him 39 for the game) and six rebounds. DeRozan added 23 points and seven rebounds.
By virtue of their win, the Bulls will play the Heat in Miami on Friday with the winner earning the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Chicago fans can certainly hope that Diar DeRozan and her newly famous free-throw line screams make the trip, but her father has already rendered his verdict.
"No," DeRozan said. "She's got to go back to school."