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RECAP: Bulls hold off late charge from Pelicans

Mar 3, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) and center Wendell Carter Jr. (34) during the first half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Zach LaVine scored 36 points and the visiting Chicago Bulls held off a New Orleans Pelicans fourth-quarter comeback in a 128-124 victory Wednesday night.

LaVine, who had 46 points in a 129-116 victory against the visiting Pelicans on Feb. 10, made 12 of 19 shots. Coby White added 25 points, Thaddeus Young scored 18 and Patrick Williams had 13 and Denzel Valentine 11.

Zion Williamson scored 28, JJ Redick had 22, Brandon Ingram scored 21, Josh Hart had 13, Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe had 12 each and Jaxson Hayes 10 to lead the Pelicans.

Ingram scored seven consecutive points to start the third quarter. That enabled New Orleans to cut Chicago’s lead from 19 to 12.

The Pelicans got within 12 twice more but couldn’t get any closer before the Bulls took a 96-79 lead at the end of the quarter.

New Orleans used a 15-5 run to pull within 112-104 with five minutes remaining, and eventually closed to within four.

But Wendell Carter Jr.’s tip-in with 1:05 remaining and LaVine’s layup 25 seconds later gave Chicago a 121-113 lead.

New Orleans kept attacking, closing to within 126-124 on an Ingram 3-pointer, but White hit two free throws to seal the victory.

The Bulls scored the first eight points of the game while the Pelicans went scoreless for more than three minutes.

Williamson scored New Orleans’ first eight points, but Chicago held a 19-8 lead.

Bledsoe made one of two free throws to become to first Pelican other than Williamson to score and Ball made a 3-pointer to become the first Pelican other than Williamson to make a field goal.

Still the Bulls maintained a double-digit lead before failing to make a field goal during the final 3:16 of the period. New Orleans scored the final nine points to cut Chicago’s lead to 26-25 at the end of the first quarter.

The Pelicans made just three field goals during the final 6½ minutes of the second quarter as Chicago finished on a 27-8 run to take a 64-45 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media