ATLANTA (AP) – DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, Zach LaVine added 30 and the Chicago Bulls won their fourth straight game, beating the Atlanta Hawks 130-118 on the penalty kill on Monday night.
Cam Reddish finished with 33 points and Trae Young, cleared of health and safety protocols around 90 minutes before the start, returned to the starting lineup and scored 29 for Atlanta in Game 1 of a home and away game. with the Bulls.
DeRozan had 14-20 on the pitch. LaVine, in his second return game after missing 15 days in protocols, scored 11 for 21, including 5 of 8 in a 3-point range. Nikola Vucevic got his 14th double-double with 24 points and 17 rebounds.
Vucevic conceded a 3 with 3:15 remaining to make it a 10-point lead and essentially put the game out of reach after the 15-foot jumper DeRozan took the lead at 126-116. Coby White’s 3 from the left corner finished him with 1:19 to go.
Matt Thomas’ 3 gave the Bulls their biggest lead with 16 points in the dying minutes of the third, and the Hawks never really threatened the rest of the way, although two Reddish 3s reduced it to five in the beginning of the fourth. Reddish buried a 3 from the left wing to make it 108-104 before Vucevic hit 3 in a row to take the lead to seven.
Young, who is fourth in the NBA with an average of 27.3 points and third with 9.3 assists per game, returned two negative tests to be able to return. He’s missed the last three games after testing positive for COVID-19, and the Hawks have gone 1-2 without him.
The Bulls improved to 21-10, second best in the Eastern Conference. They started the day with 10 games over 0.500 for the first time since January 2016.
The Hawks started the day tied for 10th in the East and fell to 15-18, losing their eighth in a row at home.
White’s upfront 3 gave the Bulls their first double-digit lead with 9:10 left in the third. Vucevic’s lay-in against Clint Capela made it 80-70, and Atlanta called a full timeout.
Young and Reddish totaled 23 points as Atlanta led 36-31 at the end of the first. DeRozan scored 15 in the period on a 5v6 shot.
The Bulls came back from an eight-point deficit to tie it at 46 on Ayo Dosunmu’s dunk halfway through the second before LaVine hit a free throw to give Chicago a 55-54 lead. LaVine’s 3 brought the score to 58-56 and the Hawks called for a time-out.
The lead fell to 11 on LaVine’s 3 and DeRozan’s finger roll in the last minute before half-time. LaVine beat the buzzer in the second quarter with a jumper that gave the Bulls a 69-63 lead entering the third.
Chicago went 9 for 18 from beyond the arc, and DeRozan and LaVine combined for 44 points in the first half.
Bulls: Chicago has 22 assists and 10 turnovers. … Interim head coach Chris Fleming was happy to hear that Young had been cleared to return. “You want to play against the best,” Fleming said. “This is how we get better. … Coach Billy Donovan missed his second straight game in Protocols. “He had mild symptoms at first,” Fleming said. “He looks like himself now.”… Minute frontman Lonzo Ball, Tony Bradley and Alfonzo McKinnie are in the protocols. … G Alex Caruso (left hamstring strain) and F Derrick Jones Jr. (left hamstring strain) were also ruled out.
Hawks: Reddish went 8 for 12 on 3s. … Atlanta had 12 players absent, including John Collins, forward Danilo Gallinari, guard Kevin Huerter, guard Lou Williams, swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarot and reserve center Onyeka Okongwu in protocols. … The Hawks won the series with Chicago 3-0 last season.
Bulls: Host Atlanta Wednesday.
Hawks: In Chicago on Wednesday.
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