LaVine lifts Bulls past Magic, Jazz on a roll

LOS ANGELES: Zach LaVine’s scored 18 points but his biggest contributions came late in the game as the Chicago Bulls eased past the Orlando Magic 105-101 on Monday. LaVine busted loose for a thunderous go-ahead dunk to break a 101-101 tie then iced the win with two free throws for the Bulls, who won despite blowing an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter. Lauri Markkanen delivered 21 points as Chicago won their second straight after losing seven in a row.  LaVine stole Jonathon Simmons’ inbounds pass with 15 seconds left and finished with a slam. He added the free throws after Mario Hezonja missed a three-pointer.
“I was trying to be aggressive on the inbounds,” LaVine said. “I wasn’t trying to obviously go for a steal and be able to get out of position, but it opened up like it did. “I embrace it. You have to get it done. Everybody wants to have the ball in their hands at the end of games. But you have to have the confidence and the ability to do it. And I think I do.” Bobby Portis added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Jerian Grant had 14 points and seven assists in the win. Hezonja led Orlando with 24 points, and Evan Fournier scored 22.
The Bulls appeared to be headed to victory after going on an 11-0 run that gave them a 93-75 lead with eight minutes remaining.
But the Magic didn’t give up as Hezonja nailed a three-pointer with just over three minutes left in regulation to give them a two point, 98-96, lead.
Portis later tied it 101-101 by hitting a shot from beyond the arc with 2:29 left, setting the stage for LaVine’s final minute heroics.
In Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell hit the go-ahead pull-up jumper with 39 seconds left as the Utah Jazz stretched their league-best winning streak to 10 games with a 101-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Mitchell, who finished with 25 points, hit a pair of go-ahead baskets and a free throw to give the Jazz the lead in the final minute.
Joe Ingles finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Jazz who had to rally from a 13-point deficit in the fourth. Derrick Favors tallied 19 points and eight rebounds.
Pau Gasol scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Kyle Anderson delivered 16 points and for the Spurs, who lost to Utah for the third time this season.
Elsewhere, Anthony Davis finished with 38 points and 10 rebounds, Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic each scored 21, and the New Orleans Pelicans stopped the Detroit Pistons 118-103. — AFP

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