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Mavs' Dereck Lively II Joins Legend Hakeem Olajuwon on Rare NBA Rookie List

Dallas Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively dominated the Chicago Bulls in his return from a one-game absence, putting up number that haven't been seen by an NBA rookie since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984.

After missing one game due to personal reasons, rookie big man Dereck Lively II made his return to action on Monday night as the Dallas Mavericks dominated the Chicago Bulls, 127-92.

In the win, Lively finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks while shooting 11-12 from the field and being a +22 in 20 minutes off the bench.


The 20-year-old center became the first rookie to reach or surpass those statistical benchmarks since NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon did it in 1984.

“Just being able to find open spots," Lively said in his postgame interview on Bally Sports Southwest. "Everyone is going to be focused on Luka and Kai. That’s when the bigs find their little holes. That’s where we get our easy dunks, easy dump-offs, and easy finishes.”

Mavs head coach noted that Lively and generational superstar Luka Doncic have had "trust since day one," and that's only going to continue as the young big man continues to gain NBA experience. The future for Lively is bright, but the present is pretty bright as well. At 37-28, the Mavs are riding a three-game winning streak and are creeping up on the sixth-seed in the West standings. We'll see if Lively and Co. can avoid the Play-In Tournament in these last 17 games.