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Dominant 4th quarter carries Pelicans past Bulls

Mar 24, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) fights for position against Chicago Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu (12) during the second quarter at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Devonte’ Graham scored a season-high 30 points and Jose Alvarado led a fourth-quarter blitz as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Chicago Bulls 126-109 on Thursday night.

Alvarado had 11 of his 15 points and added two assists during a 21-7 run to start the fourth quarter, helping the Pelicans (31-42) win for the third time in four games. CJ McCollum scored 25 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 19 rebounds.

New Orleans outscored Chicago 40-24 in the fourth quarter.

Zach LaVine scored 39 points, Coby White added 23 before fouling out, Nikola Vucevic had 16 and Alex Caruso 11 to lead the Bulls (42-31), who lost for the fifth time in six games and the eighth time in nine road games.

The Pelicans scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take a 70-62 lead.

Javonte Green’s dunk ended a three-minute scoring drought for the Bulls and started an 8-0 run that pulled them even at 70.

LaVine made a basket and a technical free throw to give Chicago a one-point lead before McCollum scored five straight points.

The Bulls regained a one-point lead before Trey Murphy III beat the buzzer with a dunk that gave New Orleans an 86-85 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Chicago pulled even at 90, but Alvarado had seven points, an assist and a steal to lead a 12-0 run by the Pelicans.

Caruso’s 3-pointer pulled the Bulls within seven with 3:42 to play, but New Orleans scored seven straight build a 116-102 lead with 2:01 left.

In the first quarter, the score was tied four times before LaVine made back-to-back 3-pointers as the Bulls took a 30-21 lead.

The Pelicans trimmed the deficit to five points before LaVine converted a three-point play that gave Chicago a 39-31 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Graham made two 3-pointers and converted a three-point play to help New Orleans pull even at 52.

The Pelicans took a four-point lead twice before White beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer that trimmed New Orleans’ lead to 63-62 at halftime.

–Field Level Media