LaVine's 24 points leads Bulls to 101-92 win over Wizards
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
By RICH DUBROFF
WASHINGTON (AP) Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen knows that Zach LaVine can't play as much he'd like due to a recent ankle injury.
But LaVine made the most of his 29 minutes on Friday night, scoring 19 points in the second half, including 11 straight in the third quarter, in the Bulls' 101-92 victory over the Washington Wizards.
LaVine, who finished with 24 points, shot just three times in the first half, and turned aggressive in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers in a 2:45 stretch of the third quarter.
"He didn't panic, he wasn't flustered and the game turned for him," Boylen said. "He gave it to us the second half."
Wendell Carter, Jr. had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Lauri Markkanen added 14 points and 14 rebounds for Chicago, which scored 100 points for just the second time in 10 games.
The Bulls have won three of four and are 5-7 since Boylen replaced Fred Hoiberg on Dec. 4.
Bradley Beal led Washington with 34 points.
The Wizards played without John Wall, who was sidelined with a sore left heel. Washington coach Scott Brooks said that he found out during the morning shootaround that Wall would be unable to play, and said he would see a specialist.
The Wizards fell to 13-23. They've dropped nine of 11.
Beal remains convinced that Washington can turn the season around, and he refuses to believe that with the team 10 games below .500, the season is too far gone.
"I'll never say that," Beal said. "I'll never think it. I'll never believe it. My main objective is to make sure we get out of the hole and we will."
LAVINE TURNS IT ON
Not only did LaVine score 11 straight in the third quarter, but he secured the game with 33 seconds left with a three-point play.
"We took the game over," LaVine said. "We made some big stops. I think the main thing is that we're learning how to win."
LaVine, Markkanen and Kris Dunn started together for the first time this season.
"We talked about it and I feel like we just got to keep working on doing our stuff and we'll get better," Markkanen said.
"You're going to have some funky lineups," Brooks said. "There are going to be some strange lineups until some people get back."
Bulls: G Brandon Sampson, who was signed to a two-way contract on Thursday, did not travel with the team. . F Bobby Portis was out for his fourth consecutive game with a sprained right ankle. When he suffered the injury, the team said he'd be out one-to-three weeks. Coach Jim Boylen said that he wouldn't guess on a return. "We're not going to rush him," Boylen said. "Knowing Bobby he'll be rushing himself."
Wizards: Wall missed his fourth game of the season. He was in the locker room before the game, but did not comment on his condition. . F Otto Porter missed his ninth straight game with a bruised right knee. Brooks said he was getting closer to a return. . F Markieff Morris was out with a neck injury.
Bulls: Visit the Raptors on Sunday
Wizards: Host the Hornets on Saturday in their only back-to-back home games of the season.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Updated December 28, 2018