Facing the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night, the Chicago Bulls had to go deep into their rotation to pull out a win and make up for the absences of the injured Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson.
As Russell Westbrook was going off for another 40-point game, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau gave little-known, fourth-year guard E’Twaun Moore playing time.
Moore had only played 39 games for Chicago to that point, averaging seven minutes per game. Though it’s his fourth year in the league, Moore has played for three teams already, spending the last two in relative anonymity with the Orlando Magic.
Given the opportunity, Moore scored a career-high 19 points on 9-10 shooting to go with 4 rebounds in 22 minutes. In the fourth quarter, Moore was perfect, shooting 6-6 and scoring 13 points.
Moore hit the most important shot of the game — a huge three-pointer to put the Bulls up two with 2 seconds remaining.
Moore also had the difficult task of guarding Westbrook for much of the fourth quarter, and he did a fairly effective job, holding him to 2-9 shooting in the quarter.
Moore probably won’t get this type of playing time as the season goes on, particularly as Rose and Butler get healthy. Nonetheless, he came up huge for the Bulls, who have made a habit of finding this kind of value deep on their bench.
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