LaVine, DeRozan lead Bulls to 111-107 win over Nets
Zach LaVine scored 31 points, DeMar DeRozan had 29 and the Chicago Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-107 on Saturday night.
Nikola Vucevic and Ayo Dosunmu each added 11 points for the Bulls.
Kevin Durant led Brooklyn with 28 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 20. James Harden added 14 points and 14 assists, but shot 5 for 21 from the field.
The Bulls trailed by as many as 11 in the third quarter, but opened the fourth on a 13-4 run and took their biggest lead at 92-86 on DeRozan’s short jumper with 7 minutes remaining.
Aldridge's layup brought the Nets within 101-100, but they never got closer.
Durant’s 3-pointer with 39 seconds left cut it to 107-105, but Lonzo Ball answered with a 3 with 16 seconds remaining to end the threat.
Patty Mills, who scored 12 points, gave Brooklyn its biggest lead at 71-60 with 6:34 left in the third quarter.
Chicago rallied and LaVine’s 3-pointer trimmed it to 80-79 before Paul Millsap, who scored a season-high 13 points, hit a buzzer-beater to give the Nets an 82-79 lead after three quarters.
Brooklyn scored the first nine points of the game, all on 3s, and led 34-28 after the first quarter.
Chicago took its first lead at 47-46 on LaVine’s three-point play with 3:57 left in the half before the Nets went back ahead, with Durant’s basket making it 56-52 at the half.
Bruce Brown led the Nets with 12 rebounds, while Durant had 10.
Bulls: Javonte Green, who had appeared in each of Chicago’s first 23 games, did not play Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19. That leaves DeRozan, LaVine and Ball as the only Bulls to play in every game this season.
Nets: Brooklyn has had four back-to-backs so far this season and gone 1-1 each time. … The Nets had won eight of their previous nine home games against the Bulls. … James Johnson did not play due to left shoulder soreness.
Durant has played at least 37 minutes in each of his last seven games, including a season-high 45 vs. Phoenix on Nov. 21. “Kevin’s mentality is why he’s one of the best players of all-time,” coach Steve Nash said. “He loves the game. To tell him we’re going to limit his minutes is not going to go over very well. We try to sneak minutes from him here and there and keep him on the bench for an extra 30 or 40 seconds when we can.”
In their two games prior to Saturday, LaVine, DeRozan and Vucevic all scored 25 or more points while shooting 50% or better from the field. It was the first time three teammates had reached those marks in consecutive games since Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway did it for Golden State in 1990.
FALLING ON HARD(EN) TIMES
Harden has shot 13 for 49 (26.5%) over his last three games.
Bulls: Chicago hosts Denver on Monday.
Nets: Brooklyn visits Dallas on Tuesday.