Bulls rally to beat Pistons


Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine dunks against the Detroit Pistons during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. The Bulls won 105-102. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 37 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 105-102 Wednesday night on short notice.

The Bulls were scheduled to visit Charlotte, with the Pistons at Dallas. Those games got called off Tuesday by the NBA because of COVID-19 contact tracing concerns with the Hornets and power outages in Texas. The Bulls and Pistons were then scheduled to play each other, instead.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan benched his young players at the start of the second half but they came through with big shots late.

“As professionals you hope they go to the locker room, they regroup, they realize there’s going to be some changes made,” Donovan said. “When my number’s called, I have to be ready and prepared, and I thought those guys did that.”

Chicago made two 3-pointers late in the game to hold off Detroit. Coby White made his shot from the corner to give the Bulls a 100-96 lead with just over a minute left before Patrick Williams knocked down a 3-pointer with 29 seconds remaining to make it 103-98.

White was one of the players that Donovan pulled.

“It was a learning experience for me,” White said. “I had to accept the challenge and do what I needed to help my team win.”

LaVine made a free throw to ice the game in the final seconds. He scored 15 points in the third quarter to help Chicago rally from a 25-point, second-quarter deficit, the biggest comeback in the NBA this season.

Wendall Carter Jr. added 18 points while Williams had 15. Chicago won its second straight game overall and fifth in a row against Detroit.

Jerami Grant scored a career-high 43 points for the Pistons, who cooled off after a strong start.

“I think we could’ve done a better job in the third quarter and I thought we gave up the lead,” Grant said. “Down the stretch, we missed some shots that we normally make. We gave up the game.”

Delon Wright scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half while Dennis Smith Jr. added 10 points off the bench.

Detroit started the second quarter on a 12-0 run and Chicago failed to score until Carter’s follow dunk midway through the period.

Chicago outscored Detroit 27-12 in the third quarter and retook the lead when Garret Temple made a layup with 10 minutes left to make it 74-73.


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