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Zach LaVine puts up 43 as Bulls pound Pistons

Dec 30, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Coby White (0) defends Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) during the first quarter at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Zach LaVine scored 18 of his season-high 43 points in the first quarter to lift the host Chicago Bulls to a 132-118 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday.

LaVine’s point total eclipsed his previous season high of 41, set in Chicago’s 110-101 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 4.

LaVine made 15 of 20 shots from the floor on Friday, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range. He also sank all eight of his attempts from the free-throw line and dished out a team-high six assists.

DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points and Nikola Vucevic collected 19 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, who have won five of their past six games overall and 12 straight against the Pistons dating back to 2019.

Rookie Jaden Ivey scored 22 points, Bojan Bogdanovic had 20 and Alec Burks added 19 off the bench for the Pistons, who have dropped 14 of their past 18 games.

Detroit played without Killian Hayes and Hamidou Diallo on Friday. Hayes was handed a three-game suspension for his role in a scuffle involving the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, while Diallo was issued a one-game ban.

Saddiq Bey drained a 3-pointer to forge a tie at 115-115 with 4:23 remaining in the fourth quarter before DeRozan sank two free throws and LaVine followed a steal with a basket.

Ivey sank a free throw to make it a one-possession game, but Alex Caruso hit a 3-pointer, LaVine completed a three-point plays and Vucevic drained a trey to effectively put the game away at 128-116 with 1:39 left.

LaVine made 6 of 8 shots from the floor and all five attempts from the free-throw line during the first quarter. Ayo Dosunmu made all three of his shots — including a 3-pointer — to help the Bulls seize a 33-25 lead at the end of the period.

The Pistons responded with a strong start to the second quarter, with Burks scoring his team’s first six points and Kevin Knox II adding five more during an 18-8 surge. The Bulls rebounded, however, and carried a 60-58 lead into halftime.

–Field Level Media