Lillard joined DeRozan fan club for Monday’s game

Fan support usually isn't a problem for the Bulls, but they got an unexpected guest at Monday's game when Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard sat courtside across from the home bench.

Lillard was checking in on his old team, the Portland Trail Blazers, but was also a guest of DeMar DeRozan.

“It was cool,” DeRozan said. “I woke up from my nap today and he texted me, and I was like, 'All right, I got you, man.' That's one of my good friends outside of basketball, so to see him come out here to support me and watch his old team play, that was cool.”

Lillard also happens to be the guest on the latest episode of DeRozan's podcast, which was released Tuesday. Was there any cheering going on? Portland was his home for 11 years.

“I seen him clap a few times when we scored, so …,” DeRozan said, without finishing the thought.

In a related note, DeRozan logged 40 minutes in Monday's victory. At age 34, he continues to lead the NBA in both minutes per game and total minutes played.

“I really, really try to take good care of myself the best way I can,” he said. “I try to rest. I don't have no other hobbies that causes me to exert any energy. And I just love hooping. I love playing the game, no matter how many minutes it is, I just love being out there.”

Caruso makes save

Alex Caruso turned his ankle early in Monday's game, went back to the locker room to get retaped and returned to the court. He eventually came through with, what else, a game-saving defensive play.

With the Bulls up by 3, Caruso swiped the ball out of Anfernee Simons' hands and out of bounds, before the Portland guard could get off a game-tying shot. The ball ended up about six seats down from Damian Lillard.

“Up 3, that much time left, you look to foul,” Caruso said. “He came across half, I didn't like the look to foul because he was square to the basket, looked like he was getting ready to shoot. Then just instincts took over. Once I saw he was shooting it, that's a pretty routine play for me to be able to strip a guy as long as I'm within the right distance.”

After the inbound, Simons' launched a final shot that rimmed out, but it came after the buzzer, according to the official stats.

Dosunmu stays home

Ayo Dosunmu clearly had a productive summer of improvement. He finished with 23 points and 10 assists Monday, the first double-double since his rookie season, and also had consecutive 20-point games for the first time.

But while most of his Bulls teammates headed West for the summer to Los Angeles or Arizona, Dosunmu stayed mostly in Chicago.

“I think you can work anywhere,” Dosunmu said. “There are so many great people who understand training and getting better. I just thought for my development, what I needed to work on the most coming into this season, I thought I could easily stay home and do it. I traveled a little bit, but mostly I was home.”

Chicago used to be a popular summer base for NBA players. There were high-caliber pro leagues, not to mention the pre-NBA LeBron James and Michael Jordan comeback pickup games. That's not the case any more.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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