Monday, February 12, 2018 11:00 pm
LaVine steal, dunk leads Bulls to 105-101 win over Magic
ANDREW SELIGMAN | Associated Press
CHICAGO – Zach LaVine broke for a tiebreaking dunk after stealing an inbounds pass in the closing seconds, Lauri Markkanen scored 21 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 105-101 on Monday night.
The Bulls blew an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter but still came away with their second win in three games after dropping seven in a row.
LaVine stole Jonathon Simmons' inbounds attempt with 15 seconds left and finished with a thunderous slam. He added two free throws after Mario Hezonja missed a 3-pointer to lift Chicago to a tight win.
LaVine finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. Bobby Portis added 19 points and seven boards, and Jerian Grant had 14 points and seven assists.
Hezonja led Orlando with 24 points, and Evan Fournier scored 22.
The Bulls appeared in control when they led 93-75 with 8:23 left after an 11-0 run. Denzel Valentine punctuated that spurt with a dunk and two free throws.
But the Magic went on a big run of their own, with Hezonja leading the way. He nailed a 3-pointer to give Orlando a 98-96 lead with 3:07 remaining. Portis tied it with a floater and responded to a 3 by Fournier with one of his own, making it 101-all with 2:29 left.
Magic: C Nikola Vucevic (broken left index finger) is eyeing the first game after the All-Star break — Feb. 22 against New York — for his return. Sidelined since late December, Vucevic said his conditioning is there, but he is still getting "more comfortable with the hand." ''(I'll) keep working out during the break," he said. "Then after the break, I'll come back and have a couple practices with the team and get it straight going into the Knicks." ... F Aaron Gordon (strained left hip flexor) missed his seventh straight game and likely won't return prior to the break, coach Frank Vogel said.
Bulls: G Kris Dunn missed his 11th consecutive game, and coach Fred Hoiberg wasn't sure if he will be ready to return against Toronto on Wednesday. If Dunn doesn't play against the Raptors, he still might compete in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend. "Right now it's just about reconditioning himself, getting himself ready to sustain minutes in an NBA game," Hoiberg said. "He's just not quite there yet, he's making progress. He's still very sore from the increase in workload that he's been doing this past week."
Magic: Host Charlotte on Wednesday.
Bulls: Host Toronto on Wednesday.