CHICAGO – Lauri Markkanen had 25 points, Zach LaVine added 19, and the Bulls nearly led wire-to-wire in a 116-81 victory over the short-handed Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
Battling an illness and questionable until a few hours before the game, Markkanen was 8 for 14 from the field, making 4 of 9 3-pointers.
Rookie Coby White had 18 points for the Bulls, who have has won three of four.
John Collins had 34 points for the NBA-worst Hawks. They have dropped 10 straight for the second time this season. Collins was playing his third game after a 25-game suspension for violating the league’s doping policy.
The Hawks played without scoring leader Trae Young. He didn’t make the trip after spraining his right ankle in the second quarter Friday night in a home loss to Milwaukee.
The Bulls sweep the three-game season series between the teams, winning all three by at least 20 points.
Atlanta scored the first two baskets for a 4-0 lead, but the Bulls answered with 14 straight points. Markkanen had seven points during the run and capped it off with a 3-pointer for the 14-4 advantage.
The Bulls led 35-19 at the end of the first quarter and increased it to 64-43 at halftime. Markkanen and LaVine combined for 31 points on 14-for-24 shooting, including 6 for 10 on 3-pointers.
Chicago led 83-65 after three quarters. White then opened the fourth with five quick points for an 88-65 edge.
Hawks: Coach Lloyd Pierce said Young was feeling better Saturday, but he had no idea how long the second-year guard would be sidelined, Jabari Parker, a Chicago native and former Bull, missed his second straight game with a right shoulder impingement. Alex Len returning after missing Friday’s game with a sprained left ankle.
Bulls: Wendell Carter Jr. was 2 for 3 on 3-pointers in the game. Before Saturday, he was 3 for 19 from behind the arc. The Bulls shot 26 for 42 from the field in the first half, including 8 for 15 on 3-pointers.
The United Center P.A. announcer gave Atlanta guard Vince Carter a special introduction when he entered the game midway through the first quarter. The scoreboard also showed a graphic listing a few of Carter’s accomplishments during his 22 seasons in the NBA.
Barring a trade, this was Carter’s final regular-season game in Chicago. He received a loud ovation when he exited the game for the final time.
with under two minutes left.