Chicago Bulls

LaVine Delivers Late, Bulls Edge Spurs 110-109

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Zach LaVine felt he was one shot away. Once they started going in, he took over.

LaVine scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, including two clutch foul shots with 2.1 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls beat the San Antonio Spurs 110-109 on Monday night.

The 24-year-old LaVine, making a bid for his first All-Star appearance, extended his streak of games with at least 20 points to 15, matching his career best. He went 4 for 8 from the field in the fourth after missing 11 of his first 14 shots.

“Just had to settle in," he said. “I'm always confident. My teammates kept telling me, `You're going to help us win this game.' All I needed to see was one go in, and I think that's how you turn a bad game into a good one."

LaVine won an entertaining duel with DeMar DeRozan after Chicago trailed by 10 heading into the final period. DeRozan tied it at 108 on a tough fadeaway jumper with 8.6 seconds left, but LaVine responded with two free throws after he was fouled by Jakob Poetl on a drive to the basket.

San Antonio had one last chance, and DeRozan was fouled by Kris Dunn on a long jumper with 0.2 seconds to go. DeRozan made the first free throw, missed the second and grabbed the rebound, but was unable to get a shot off before time expired.

“I shot it long, it came off and I just tried to get it back up there and give it a chance to go in,” DeRozan said.

Chicago placed seven players in double figures in its third win in four games. Denzel Valentine scored 16 points, and Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky each added 13.

DeRozan had 36 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio. Patty Mills made six 3-pointers and finished with 25 points.

“They competed harder for most of the 48 minutes," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought we competed for a half, maybe more than that. But not very consistent."

The Spurs played without forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who was sidelined by a sprained right thumb. The 34-year-old Aldridge stayed in San Antonio after he had 10 points and 10 rebounds during Sunday's 110-106 loss to Toronto.

Poetl, who replaced Aldridge in the starting lineup, finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. But he missed three big foul shots in the fourth after he was intentionally fouled by Chicago. He was 2 for 8 on free throws for the game.

Bulls coach Jim Boylen said he decided to send Poetl to the line to take the ball out of DeRozan's hands.

“Those are the decisions you make in game," he said. “My assistants were on it and sometimes it works out for you."


The Bulls paid tribute to Kobe Bryant with a pregame video and 24 seconds of silence. Fans also used chalk to write messages remembering Bryant on the pavement outside the United Center.

The former Los Angeles Lakers star was killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in Southern California.

After Chicago won the opening tip, it took an 8-second backcourt violation. San Antonio then took a 24-second shot clock violation. Bryant wore Nos. 8 and 24 during his NBA career.

“There will never be another Kobe Bryant," said LaVine, who wears No. 8 and idolized Bryant growing up. “There’s only one person like that ever. He touched so many lives in the way he affected basketball, and beyond that as well.’’


Spurs: Led by Mills, San Antonio went 10 for 25 from 3-point range. ... C Trey Lyles had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Bulls: F Otto Porter Jr. (broken left foot) completed a routine of skipping and walking at the morning shootaround. But Boylen said Porter isn't running just yet. “He looked upbeat, like he's chomping at it a little bit, which I think is good," Boylen said. Porter hasn't played since Nov. 6. ... F Lauri Markkanen missed his third consecutive game because of a right hip injury. He is expected to remain sidelined through the All-Star break. “Lauri says he feels good, kind of waiting that thing out," Boylen said.


Spurs: Host the Jazz on Wednesday night. San Antonio lost two of three against Utah last season.

Bulls: Visit the Pacers on Wednesday. Chicago has dropped its last seven games against Indiana, including the first two matchups this season.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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