Bulls respond to accountability challenge with wins over NBA’s best

MILWAUKEE — Try to figure this Chicago Bulls team out.

Last Friday night, they dropped their fourth straight game to a sub-.500 Orlando Magic team in heartbreaking fashion and with their two-time All-Star and newly minted max-salaried player in Zach LaVine benched.

This week, they post back-to-back victories over the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA’s top two teams, and deliver their most complete defensive performance in the latter on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.

“It shows we can play against anybody. And we can beat anybody,” LaVine said. “We just have to have the same mindset every game.”

That mindset centered on playing physically and actively defensively, which produced a season-high 12 blocks and nine steals. That mindset centered on making the extra pass offensively, which led to a season-high 18 3-pointers.

And most important, that mindset centered on looking inward after experiencing such adversity, a dynamic that helped the Bulls post their first regular-season victory here in eight tries.

“Coach (Billy Donovan) challenged me, Zach and Vooch (Nikola Vučević) a few games ago. We gotta live up to that. Keep this group going. It’s a challenge we all accepted,” DeMar DeRozan said. “It’s fun as a competitor. You want to be challenged that way to make yourself and team better.”

This is what leadership looks like. And it gives possible credence to DeRozan’s belief that the Bulls’ best basketball is ahead of them.

“We’ve had some down…

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