Markkanen led the Bulls with a career-high points (33) and rebounds (10), recording his ninth double-double of the season.
The former Arizona Wildcat made eight 3-pointers in the contest. Only one other 7-footer has made eight 3s in an NBA game: future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki.
But the most impressive moment of the night came in the third quarter, when Markkanen dunked on Enes Kanter.
It was quite a sight to behold, to say the least:
Lauri seems to be enjoying his MSG debut pic.twitter.com/C4qTGOzNRh— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) January 11, 2018
The game ended up being one of the best of 2018 so far, going into double overtime thanks to a buzzer-beating dunk by the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis at the end of the first overtime.
But in the end, Markkanen and the Bulls got a victory, their third of the year against New York. Chicago is now 15-27 this year, but is actually exceeding the low expectations that were set for them, thanks to Markkanen.
The Finn has been one of the top rookies in the league, averaging 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds. And here’s a crazy stat:
Lauri Markkanen is averaging more made 3s per game than any rookie.— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) January 11, 2018
Not just 7 footers or bigs.
Markkanen and the Bulls face the Detroit Pistons and Stanley Johnson on Saturday night in their next game. Hopefully we get to see more excellence in that contest.