Rookie Lauri Markkanen hit the go-ahead jumper with 68 seconds remaining as the Chicago Bulls edged the Detroit Pistons 107-105 Saturday night at the United Center in Chicago.
Three nights after getting a career-high 33 points in a double-overtime win at New York, Markkanen led six players in double figures for Chicago with 19 points.
Reserves Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis added 16 and 15, respectively, while Zach LaVine contributed 14 in his Chicago debut after missing 11 months recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee suffered while playing for Minnesota.
Detroit held a 105-104 lead after Avery Bradley hit a 22-footer with 1:29 remaining. Markkanen missed a 3-pointer with 1:12 left, but Chicago grabbed the rebound and Kris Dunn found Markkanen, whose shot represented the 23rd lead change.
After Markkanen’s shot, Bradley’s 14-footer was blocked by David Nwaba with 52 seconds remaining. Following a replay review that showed Detroit grabbed the rebound, Andre Drummond missed a layup and Chicago secured the rebound.
Bradley fouled Dunn with 38 seconds left, and the Chicago guard split two free throws. Detroit missed a chance at a one-point lead when Bradley misfired on a 3-pointer and missed a chance to tie the game at the buzzer when Reggie Bullock missed a layup while absorbing heavy contact following a Chicago turnover.
Dunn added 18 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the Bulls, who shot 48.3 percent and made 17 of 36 from 3-point range.
Bradley led Detroit with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including six 3-pointers. Bradley, however, was 1-of-7 in the final 12 minutes.
Drummond scored eight of his 21 in the fourth quarter and also grabbed 15 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season. Tobias Harris was held to seven points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field.
Before Markkanen gave Chicago the lead for good, Portis hit a 3-pointer for a 100-95 lead with 5:56 remaining after Drummond’s putback dunk. Including the dunk, Drummond scored eight straight Detroit points and his tip-in gave Detroit a 101-100 lead with 4:12 remaining.
After Dunn’s 16-footer with 3:11 left made it 102-101 Chicago, Harris gave Detroit a one-point lead with a layup on the next possession.
--Field Level Media