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DeRozan, Vucevic lead Bulls past struggling Hornets 121-109

DeRozan, Vucevic lead Bulls past struggling Hornets 121-109

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points, Nikola Vucevic added 18 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, and the Chicago Bulls handed the Charlotte Hornets their sixth consecutive loss, 121-109 on Wednesday night.

Zach LaVine chipped in with 27 points for the Bulls (34-21), who pulled within one game of the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat.

LaMelo Ball had 33 points and nine rebounds for Charlotte, which continued to struggle with its 3-point shooting and made just 13 of 43. During their six-game losing streak, the Hornets are shooting 27.9% (66 of 236) from beyond the arc.

Charlotte (28-28) has lost its last six games by an average of 11.8 points and wrapped up a homestand with an 0-4 record to fall to ninth place in the conference.

Both teams entered the game short-handed.

The Bulls played without Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams, Ayo Dosunmu and Derrick Jones Jr., while the Hornets were missing Gordon Hayward, Cody Martin and Jalen McDaniels.

The Bulls opened a 15-point lead the final minute of the second quarter behind a contested 3-pointer by DeRozan, who 8 of 11 for 18 points from the field in the first half.

Chicago held a double-digit lead for most of the game, and LaVine hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to give the Bulls an 89-76 lead after the Hornets had made a run.

Chicago stretched its lead to 21 in the fourth quarter as DeRozan and LaVine continued to knock down jumpers. The Bulls shot 56.1% from the field for the game, including 48.5% from 3-point land.

TIP INS

Bulls: Had 14 turnovers, leading to 25 Hornets points.

Hornets: Made just 16 of 23 free throws.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Minnesota on Friday night, the start of a six-game homestand

Hornets: At Detroit on Friday night.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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