Sean Kilpatrick made a pair of 3-point baskets in the final four minutes as the Chicago Bulls fended off the visiting Charlotte Hornets for a 120-114 victory Tuesday night at the United Center.
The outcome gave the Bulls their longest winning streak since mid-January, three games.
Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen, who made five 3-pointers, scored 24 points, and Kilpatrick finished with 21 off the bench.
Justin Holiday added 19 points for the Bulls, Bobby Portis scored 16, Jerian Grant supplied 13 points (including a pair of clinching free throws) and David Nwaba chipped in 10 points.
Dwight Howard’s 23 points and 17 rebounds paced the Hornets, who lost their fourth game in a row. Malik Monk added 21 points off the Charlotte bench.
Marvin Williams’s 18 points, Nic Batum’s 11 points, Willy Hernangomez’s 11 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s 10 points weren’t enough to allow the Hornets to keep up.
Charlotte guard Kemba Walker had his second outing with fewer than 10 points since becoming the franchise’s all-time leading scorer last week. He scored nine points on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor.
Chicago has reached a three-game winning streak only four times this season.
The Bulls made 15 of 34 attempts from 3-point range. They committed only eight turnovers compared to 20 for the Hornets.
The matchup between two teams out of playoff contention included some riveting moments. Chicago led 88-79 with 11 minutes remaining, but the Hornets pulled even less than 2 1/2 minutes later.
Charlotte pulled within two points or one point of the lead six times in the final seven minutes.
The Bulls surged late in the second quarter for a 53-47 halftime lead.
Chicago closed the half on a 13-4 run, hitting three 3-pointers. Holiday and Portis sank long-range shots in the final minute.
Markkanen scored 18 first-half points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field.
Charlotte was hurt by 11 first-half turnovers.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was back on the bench just two days after missing a game because of illness.
—Field Level Media