About 17 weeks had gone since Otto Porter Jr. last fit up in a Chicago Bulls jersey after suffering a left foot fracture.
What’s more, he was surely keeping count.
In his first game back since Nov. 6 at Atlanta, Porter came off the bench to post 18 points in barely 17 minutes, which tied for his second-highest scoring output of the season during Chicago’s 109-107 win over Dallas on Monday night.
The 18 points were the most he had put up in a single game in his career while playing 20 minutes or less after missing 51 total games with a left foot fracture. He said he played with bliss despite being on a minute restriction.
“Of course. To do something that you love, it’s like giving candy to a baby and you want to be happy,” Porter said following the win. “I’m definitely happy to get back out, play basketball, get back out there with my teammates, coaches and get the W.”
At the point when Mavericks guard Luka Doncic’s last-second, desperation 3-point attempt fell short from half court at the buzzer, Chicago snapped its two-game losing slip without leading scorer Zach LaVine who was out with a left quad strain.
Doncic finished with 23 points, nine assists and five bounce back while rookie guard Coby White led the Bulls with 19 points, six bounce back and five assists off the seat.
White was glad to have Porter back after he was sidelined for such a long time.
“It was huge. He got the job done. He came in and played his minutes with force and he’s a bucket,” White said of Porter Jr. “He got to that as soon as he got in the game and he was scoring. Outside shooting is his thing and we missed it a lot this season, so for him to be back is big for us. Not only just him scoring and playing, but he’s also great defensively and he’s a leader, he’s a vet, so we missed that a lot.”
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