LaVine scored 39 of his career-best 50 points in the first half and Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 10 rebounds, but the Bulls’ three-game winning streak was broken. Chicago attempted four straight wins for the first time since December 2017.
LaVine scored 25 straight points in the second quarter as he set the NBA high for points in the first half of the season. The 39 points were also the third highest in the first half of a game in the past 25 seasons, followed by the 42 and 40 points scored by Kobe Bryant and Klay Thompson in 2003 and 2016, respectively.
“I just got into a rhythm,” said LaVine. “My 3s started falling and then I can get to the middle area and the hoop. I tried to get to the free-throw line at the end of the second quarter because I was so damn tired. I tried to take a little break . “
The Hawks didn’t go easily and took the lead 86-84.
It seemed like the Bulls were in good shape when LaVine hit a layup to put Chicago 11 minutes and 7 seconds ahead of 88-86. But Danilo Gallinari, who ended up in a reserve role with 20 points, immediately drilled a 3 at 5:48. Fed young Clint Chapel for an alley-oop dunk two possessions later to make it 104-101 in favor of the Hawks.
Another 3 from Gallinari and a bench shot from Young put Atlanta 3:26 ahead 111-103. LaVine came out on time out to make travel sales and the Hawks took a comfortable 10-point lead over Capelas Dunk at 2:42.
Gallinari followed on a 3 from the left wing to bring Atlanta to 116-106 in the last minute to extend a 19-4 run and end the remaining tension.
An All-Star Guardian LaVine beat the Hawks 10-4 at 9:46 and made it to 14-10 with a quick break-alley-oop layup. He scored 39 of the Bulls’ first 62 points when Chicago took over 11 points ahead of 2:51 in the second round. LaVine was 13 against 18 off the field and 7 against 9 against 3 in the first half.
LaVine, the first Bulls player to score 30 goals in the first half since Michael Jordan amassed so many players against Portland on February 24, 1997, had another culmination this season. He started the game as one of three players averaging 25.0 points while shooting 50% off the field, 40% on 3s and 85% on free throws.
But the Hawks made sure LaVine didn’t continue that tear into the second half.
“Of course we had to change the schedule a bit,” said Gallinari. “LaVine had an amazing first half. We were a lot more aggressive towards him when we were trying to get the ball out of his hands.”
LaVine’s high last season was February 10, 46 against New Orleans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.