Markkanen, hot-shooting Bulls top playoff-bound Wizards
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 02, 2018 06:32 AM
Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, drives as Washington Wizards forward Mike Scott guards during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Chicago. The Bulls won 113-94. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
By Matt Carlson, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Rookie Lauri Markkanen scored 23 points and connected on 5-of-8 three-pointers to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 113-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
Bobby Portis had 18 points and hit 4-of-5 from long range, and Sean Kilpatrick added 14 points. Chicago shot 52.4 percent overall from the floor and was 18-for-34 on triples — matching its season-high — as Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg missed the game with an upper-respiratory infection.
Hoiberg returned home before tipoff, leaving associate head coach Jim Boylen to direct Chicago to its second straight win following a seven-game skid.
Otto Porter Jr. led the Wizards with 17 points as five-time All-Star John Wall rested. Bradley Beal scored 15 points and reserve Mike Scott added 14.
Wall remained on the bench against Chicago after playing 33 minutes in his first game in over two months on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). The slick point guard had 15 points and 14 assists in the Wizards' playoff-clinching 107-93 win over Charlotte.
Before Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), Wall had last played on Jan. 25 (Jan. 26, PHL time), six days before he underwent left knee surgery. The Wizards went 15-12 during his absence.
The Bulls opened a 15-point lead late in the first quarter before Washington finished the frame with a 6-0 run to cut it to 36-27. Chicago shot 60.9 percent in the quarter and connected on 8-of-11 three-point attempts, with Markkanen and Portis each sinking three from long range.
Chicago led 68-59 at the half.
Getting a lift from Scott and others off their bench, the Wizards trimmed the Bulls' lead to four points three times in the second quarter.
But Chicago kept connecting. The Bulls upped their field-goal percentage to 64.3 and went 11-for-17 on three's in the first half. Markkanen led with 15 points and four three-pointers at the break.
The Bulls cooled down in the second half. But Chicago effectively managed the lead — and used all but one bench player — before pulling away late.
Wizards: Coach Scott Brooks said Wall "felt pretty good" on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), but plans for how to use the star in Washington's final five regular-season games haven't been finalized. Washington plays two back-to-back sets down the stretch. ... F Markieff Morris started on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) after leaving Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) game with flu-like symptoms after nine minutes.
Bulls: G Zach LaVine (left knee tendinitis) and G Kris Dunn (right toe sprain) both missed their ninth straight games. Hoiberg, who met with reporters before the game despite being ill, said their status is day-to-day. ... G Antonio Blakeney (left wrist fracture) and F Paul Zipser (left foot pain) also were inactive. ... Robin Lopez was back in the lineup, starting at center on his 30th birthday, after sitting out Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) 90-82 win in Orlando. Lopez was fined $25,000 for yelling at officials and failing to leave the court quickly after he was ejected in the fourth quarter of Chicago's loss at Miami on Thursday (Friday, PHL time).
Wizards: Visit Houston on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) in the second game of a three-game trip.
Bulls: Host Charlotte on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).