As the Orlando Magic defeated the Chicago Bulls 108-107 on Friday night, Zach LaVine watched from the sideline.
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan decided to bench his All-Star for the final 3:43 of the game. Chicago had trailed by as many as 19 points, but they were able to overcome this deficit and nearly beat Orlando.
LaVine had his worst game of the season, finishing with just 4 points on 1-of-14 shooting from the field (and 0-of-5 from three-point range).
Following the loss, LaVine expressed his frustration about being benched.
"I got to do a better job at the beginning of the game to make my shots, but you play a guy like me down the stretch," LaVine said, according to ESPN's Jamal Collier. "That's what I do. Do I like the decision? No. Do I have to live with it? Yeah. Be ready to put my shoes on and play the next game."
After the game, Donovan explained his decision to sit LaVine down the stretch.
"I feel like my job, my responsibility, in those moments is to try to make the best decisions for the team," Donovan said. "And I thought that was the best decision at the time. To me, I don't look at it as anything else but the one-off game where this is what was going on.
"I know he wanted to be out there. There's probably not very many games in his career where (LaVine) hasn't been out there in those moments. But that group was playing well, and it gave us a chance."
This season, LaVine is averaging 20.7 points, 4.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 threes and 1.1 steals, while shooting 41.5% from the field, 36.2% from three and 84.0% from the free-throw line. The Bulls have lost four-straight games, dropping them to 6-10 — the fourth-worst record in the Eastern Conference.