Bulls stretch win streak to four, hang on against Jazz
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 14, 2017 11:34 AM
Nikola Mirotic NBA file photo
By Jay Cohen, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Nikola Mirotic scored 29 points, Kris Dunn hit a clutch jumper with 22 seconds left and the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 103-100 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for their fourth straight victory.
Mirotic made 11-of-18 shots from the field and grabbed nine rebounds in his best performance since he returned last week after missing the start of the season with facial fractures. The 6'10" forward got hurt in a practice fight with teammate Bobby Portis, throwing the future of both players in question, but the Bulls are perfect since Mirotic returned to the court.
Robin Lopez added 16 points for Chicago, and Dunn finished with 13 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. Portis scored each of his nine points in the fourth after he got off to a slow start.
Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 32 points on 15-for-26 shooting, but the Jazz dropped their fourth straight game. Rodney Hood scored 15 points after missing the previous seven games with left ankle soreness.
Mitchell’s driving layup trimmed Chicago’s lead to 98-96 with 1:28 left. Following a couple of empty possessions, Dunn made a step-back jumper over Alec Burks to restore the Bulls’ four-point advantage.
Chicago struggled at the line in the final seconds, giving Utah one final chance. But Mitchell missed a running three-point try as time expired.
Ricky Rubio added 14 points for Utah, which has dropped the first two on a six-game road trip. Burks finished with 13 points.
Chicago played without rookie forward Lauri Markkanen, who missed his second straight game due to back spasms. Markkanen, who is averaging 14.7 points and 8.1 rebounds, was originally listed in the starting lineup, but was replaced by Mirotic shortly before the game.
Utah trailed by as many 12 in the second quarter, but closed the half with a 17-6 run and kept up its solid play at the start of the third. Jonas Jerebko’s reverse layup with 7:06 left gave the Jazz a 63-58 lead, leading to a timeout by the Bulls.
Jazz: G/F Joe Johnson has been sidelined since Oct. 30 (Oct. 31, PHL time) because of right wrist tendon instability, but he could return soon. “He can’t have contact in practice, but he’s been doing non-contact stuff in practice,” coach Quin Snyder said. “It’s a question of sooner rather than later.” ... G Raul Neto was held out due to a concussion. Neto left in the first quarter of Saturday night’s (Sunday, PHL time) 117-100 loss at Milwaukee.
Bulls: Portis was 0-for-5 from the field in 16 minutes heading into the final period. He scored a career-high 23 points in Monday night’s (Tuesday, PHL time) 108-85 victory over Boston.
Jazz: Visit Boston on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). The Jazz dropped both of their games against the Celtics last season.
Bulls: Visit Milwaukee on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).