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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Zach LaVine leads Bulls’ comeback win over Rockets

Zach LaVine leads Bulls’ comeback win over Rockets

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Zach LaVine scored a game-high 36 points while DeMar DeRozan chipped in 27 points as the Chicago Bulls rallied for a 119-111 road victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Chicago answered a late three-point play from Rockets reserve Josh Christopher with a 13-0 run that yielded their first lead since the opening basket of the game. LaVine and DeRozan had a hand in the first 10 points before Nikola Vucevic assisted on a Patrick Beverley 3-pointer that gave the Bulls a 115-106 lead with 2:07 left. Houston missed eight consecutive shots while Chicago rallied.

Vucevic (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Beverley (16 points, 10 rebounds) produced double-doubles in support of LaVine and DeRozan, who finished with eight and seven boards, respectively. Beverley, DeRozan and LaVine recorded five assists apiece while Vucevic dished out six assists as Chicago shot 51.2 percent overall and made 15 of 32 3-pointers.

Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. led the Rockets with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Jalen Green added 18 points and seven assists. Five others scored in double figures for Houston, with Kenyon Martin Jr. scoring 16, but the Rockets had 16 turnovers converted into 23 points.

Vucevic scored 13 points in the third quarter to keep the Bulls within range and LaVine produced a three-point play with 4 seconds left to answer a 14-4 Rockets run that featured two layups from Jae’Sean Tate and 3-pointers from Tari Eason (12 points, 4-for-4 on 3s) and Kevin Porter Jr. (15 points) that yielded a brief 11-point lead.

Eason stroked consecutive 3s for the Rockets, each providing a nine-point lead before Martin beat the first-period buzzer with an alley-oop that capped the period with Houston up 32-22. The Rockets made 4 of 8 3-pointers, amassed 18 points in the paint, and assisted on 11 of 13 field goals.

Chicago fell into a 13-point hole in the second before rallying from deep, with DeRozan, Patrick Williams, Vucevic and LaVine all drilling 3s to cut the deficit to 45-44 with 4:26 left in the half.

Christopher helped the Rockets keep Chicago at bay with back-to-back 3s, and despite two 3s from Beverly and a LaVine transition basket down the stretch, the Bulls trailed 55-54 at the half. LaVine tallied 20 first-half points and the teams combined to shoot 17 of 34 from behind the arc.

–Field Level Media

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