Bulls hang on down stretch, beat Grizzlies 119-110
Chicago Bulls' Lauri Markkanen (24) dunks the ball as Memphis Grizzlies' JaMychal Green (0) watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
By Andrew Seligman, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn added 21 apiece, and the Chicago Bulls hung on to hand the Memphis Grizzlies their 15th straight loss, 119-110 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
The Bulls had a 21-point lead whittle to one but came away with their fourth win in 18 games.
Dunn scored 11 in the fourth quarter and made four free throws in the final 33.7 seconds to help Chicago come out on top.
Justin Holiday added 14 points — going 5-for-5 from the field and nailing four three-pointers — after the NBA prodded the Bulls to start playing him and Robin Lopez again.
Memphis' Dillon Brooks scored 20 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter. Marc Gasol and Ben McLemore added 17 apiece, but the Grizzlies couldn't snap the NBA's longest skid this season.
The Bulls led by 21 early in the third quarter and were up by 15 going into the fourth before the Grizzlies went on a run.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Brooks cut it to 94-93. He then nailed a fadeaway jumper after Bobby Portis drove for a layup, making it 96-95 with 6:46 remaining.
The Bulls answered with a 10-2 run. Brooks hit a floater and two three-pointers to pull the Grizzlies back within one with just under three minutes left, but the Bulls hung on.
David Nwaba grabbed the rebound after Memphis' Xavier Rathan-Mayes missed a potential tying triple, and Dunn drove for a layup to bump the lead to 113-108 with 1:31 to play.
While Lopez sat out his seventh straight game, Holiday made an immediate impact after being held out of five of the previous six. He scored nine points in the game's first 8.5 minutes, making all three three-pointers before Denzel Valentine replaced him.
Grizzlies: F Chandler Parsons missed the game for personal reasons. ... Memphis has dropped 13 in a row on the road since winning at Sacramento on Dec. 31 (Jan. 1, PHL time).
Bulls: Hoiberg said Holiday and Lopez will start Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Detroit.
The Bulls had some high-ranking visitors, with No. 4 Michigan State paying a visit during a lull in the schedule.
With the school on spring break and the Big Ten tournament last week, the Spartans worked out at Chicago's practice facility and took in the game on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).
Hoiberg's son Jack is a freshman walk-on. He said he was the only Bulls official allowed by the NBA to watch practice.
"To be honest I wasn't in there much, just a little in the beginning and then I went into my office and finished my prep for tonight's game," Hoiberg said.
Valentine and Memphis backup C Deyonta Davis played at Michigan State.
Grizzlies: Host Utah on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).
Bulls: Visit Detroit on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).