FINAL: Bulls 105, Orlando 101. Bulls: (20-36, 13-15 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Markkanen – 21 points. Orlando: Hezonja – 24 points
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Holiday – 9. Orlando: Birch – 8
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Grant – 7. Orlando: Mack – 6
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: Crazy ballgame to say the least! The Bulls busted this one open leading by 18 with 8:10 left in the fourth quarter…but wait! Orlando goes on a run and grabs the lead but Bobby Portis ties the game with a three ball. With the score even at 101 with 12 seconds left, a “Zach Attack” moment as LaVine’s outstanding anticipation and defensive positioning led to a steal and slam off a Magic inbound pass. LaVine later capped things off with two free throws and the Bulls survive,
CCI GAME BALLS: LaVine has become the closer on the Bulls. Period. But trust me Dunn and Markkanen are capable as well. Markkanen received some outstanding over the top, high/low passes in the post and the “Flying Finn” finished with 21 points. Bobby Portis with a well earned game ball after a 19-7 game. Portis entered the game shooting 4 of his last 22 behind the arc but he locked in on 3 of 6 against the Magic.
One more CCI game ball and it HAS to go to Denzel Valentine. Valentine, in his 113th NBA game, delivered his first career dunk. He was one happy man after the ballgame and appreciated the support of his teammates and coaching staff.
Kris Dunn practiced with the Windy City Bulls and it’s unclear if he will play against the Raptors tomorrow night in the final game before the week long All Star break.
UP NEXT: Home with Toronto Wednesday.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
The Warriors blasted the Suns by 46 but the story of the ballgame focused on Steve Kerr allowing players such as Draymond Green to run the huddles during timeouts.
Kerr explained to reporters why he used that method, “I told Jay (Triano, Suns Head Coach) afterward that it had nothing to do with being disrespectful,” Kerr said. “It had to do with me reaching my team. I have not reached them for the last month. They’re tired of my voice. I’m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul these last few years and I wasn’t reaching them, and we just figured it was probably a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.” (ESPN)
There is no stopping the red hot Utah Jazz. The Jazz down by 13, rallied and pushed their win streak to ten games with a 101-99 win over the Spurs. Donovan Mitchelll is playing like a All-NBA decorated player. This kid is so special, 25 points for the rookie out of Louisville. This is Utah’s longest win streak in eight years. During their winning ways, they are outscoring opponents by nearly 15 points per game.
After winning four straight with Blake Griffin on the floor the Pistons have now dropped three straight. Anthony Davis doing what Anthony Davis does; 38 points and 10 rebounds in a Pelicans’ 118-103 win.
Meantime, Griffin’s old ball club has adjusted quite well, thank you very much. LAC won its fourth game in five outings handing Brooklyn its 39th loss of the season 114-101.
All five 76ers starters scored in double figures as T.J. McConnell became the first Philadelphia player in franchise history to register a triple double off the bench as Philly won its fourth straight beating the slumping Knicks 108-92.
Always a pleasure.