• February 9, 2023

LaVine scores 40 as Bulls beat Thunder 123-102

CHICAGO (AP) – Zach LaVine scored 40 points in 15v20 shooting, and the Chicago Bulls defeat Oklahoma City Thunder 123-102 on Tuesday night for their second straight win.

LaVine led the way when Chicago shot 51% (48 for 94) off the field. The All-Star Guard was 7 for 12 out of 3-point range in 31 minutes of play.

“He was incredibly efficient on the offensive,” said coach Billy Donovan. “He was spectacular.”

LaVine’s shots came one after the other, especially when the cops needed a lift.

“I’ve always been pretty efficient,” said LaVine. “I think I just got more consistent with the recordings and started making some better ones.

“Anything I shoot, I think I should do it.”

Lauri Markkanen had 22 points for the cops and Thaddeus Young 17 points and nine rebounds added. Tomas Satoransky finished with 13 points and seven assists.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 points for Oklahoma City, which had won three out of four. Moses Brown had 20 points and 16 rebounds and Kenrich Williams scored 14.

“I think tonight we just couldn’t find a way to do what we needed for 48 minutes,” said Thunder coach Mark Daigneault.

LaVine made his first five shots – including four 3-point shots – when Chicago took the lead 42-28 after a quarter.

But the Thunder stormed back with a 15-0 run and took a 50:49 lead 6:32 in the half on Williams’ 3-pointer from the corner.

LaVine returned to the line-up and Chicago got back on track offensively, beating Oklahoma City 21:14.

“I just want to come out and give us a good boost,” said LaVine. “I wanted to help put the game down.”

LaVine stayed hot early in the third quarter, sinking his first three shots on layups. Chicago beat Oklahoma City 31:16 in the third game, increasing their lead to 102:79.

“(LaVine) requires a five-man defense and that showed us where we need to improve,” said Daigneault. “A player like LaVine will burn you for every little mistake.

“He burned us tonight and we can learn a lot from it.”

CHILDREN COOLED

The game featured two of the youngest players in the NBA. Aleksaj Pokusevski (19 years, 3 months) from Oklahoma City and Chicago Patrick Williams (19 years, 7 months) both started.

Pokusevski and Williams both had 23 points in their previous game. But they struggled in this one. Pokusevski finished the 2v9 shooting with four points. Williams only had two points and went 1 to 9 off the floor.

TIP-INS

Donner: Rookie Theo Maledon, also 19, returned from a right ankle injury on Sunday. Lu Dort (toe) and Al Horford (rest) were not available. Horford was rested for the first time that season for consecutive games. … Brown and Ty Jerome were back on the grid after starting their first NBA careers against Memphis on Sunday. … Daigneault said the thunder would take time to bring on board G / F Svi Mykhailiuk, who was acquired in a deal on Saturday.

Cops: Donovan said Garrett Temple (Left ankle sprain) is out of his hiking boot and making progress, but he didn’t have a schedule for the forward’s return. … When they last met the Thunder this season in Oklahoma City on January 15, the Bulls had a 22-point lead and lost 127-125 in OT.

NEXT

Donner: Thursday in Atlanta.

Cops: hosted San Antonio on Wednesday.

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