Chicago Bulls

LaVine scores 42 as Bulls rally past Cavs

Bulls guard Zach LaVine (middle) celebrates after scoring a basket during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday at the United Center.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine (middle) celebrates after scoring a basket during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday at the United Center.

CHICAGO – Zach LaVine scored 21 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter, and the Bulls rallied from 15 points down in the final period for a 118-116 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

The Bulls, who trailed by as many as 19 points, held the Cavaliers to 14 in the fourth period and forced 10 turnovers.

Lauri Markkanen scored 17 points for the Bulls, who have won two of three.

LaVine has scored at least 20 points in 10 straight games.

Kevin Love had 29 points, and Collin Sexton added 26 as Cleveland dropped its fourth straight.

With the Bulls leading, 114-111, the Cavaliers appeared to have a chance to tie the game as Love drove the baseline for a basket and Lauri Markkanen was called for a touch foul by referee Ashley Moyer-Gleich with 20.1 seconds left.

However, Bulls coach Jim Boylen challenged the call, and the foul was rescinded after review – giving the Bulls the ball with a 114-113 lead.

LaVine then stretched it to 117-113 with a 3-point play with 16.5 seconds left. Cedi Osman hit a 3-pointer with 11.4 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game, the Cavaliers got the ball back following a turnover, but Love missed inside and the Bulls hung on.

After leading, 33-31, at the end of the first quarter, Cleveland opened up a big lead by outscoring the Bulls, 40-25, in the second. The Cavaliers were 14 for 17 (82.4%) from the field, including 7 of 9 on 3-pointers. Those numbers included a miss on a heave from just inside the half-court line before the halftime buzzer.

Love set the pace for Cleveland’s 73-56 lead at the intermission with 23 points on 9-for-11 shooting, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. The 12th-year forward entered averaging 17.1 points.

The Cavaliers took a 102-87 lead into the fourth and appeared in control. But the Bulls came to life, opening the quarter with a 16-2 run and pulling within 104-103 with just over six minutes left.

Darius Garland snapped the run with a three-point play to give Cleveland a 107-103 lead with 5½ minutes to play.

LaVine, however, answered with a 3-pointer and then – after an offensive foul by Love – hit a 13-footer to give the Bulls a 108-107 lead with 4½ minutes remaining.

The teams exchanged one-point leads for the next two minutes before Tomas Satoransky scored inside to give the Bulls a 114-111 edge with just over two minutes to play, setting up the wild finish.

Bulls notes: Markkanen attempted only two shots in the second half of Friday’s loss at Philadelphia, which was a hot topic pregame. “He didn’t shoot the ball enough last night,” Boylen said. “It’s not that he wasn’t involved. I have to make sure he gets more than two shots.”

Travel woes: Both teams played on the road Friday night and were scheduled to fly to Chicago immediately after the game, but neither were able to take off. The winter storm that moved across the East and Midwest stranded the Bulls in Philadelphia and the Cavaliers in Memphis. Each team landed in Chicago late Saturday morning.

“If we couldn’t land in Chicago, then they couldn’t land here, either,” Cleveland coach John Beilein said. “Both of us are coming off tough losses, and we both have to deal with it.”

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host New York on Monday night.

Bulls: At Milwaukee on Monday.

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