LaVine continues strong play, leads Bulls past Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Zach LaVine continued his strong play with 25 points and nine assists, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 123-110 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Lauri Markkanen chipped in with 23 points and Coby White added 18 points and eight assists as the Bulls won their third straight.

Gordon Hayward scored 34 points for the Hornets and Devonte Graham had a season-high 24 points, 22 of those coming in the first half. But the Hornets committed 20 turnovers, leading to 26 Bulls points, as they dropped their fourth straight.

LaVine, who had averaged 32.2 points over his previous five games, converted on 8 of 12 shots from the field and made all six foul shots. He also had six rebounds.

Chicago dominated the paint, scoring 64 points.

The Hornets trailed most of the game before cutting the lead to six with four minutes to go. But Markkanen slammed home an inside feed from Thaddeus Young and LaVine buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to push the lead back to double digits.

ZELLER’S RETURN

Hornets center Cody Zeller was back on the floor after missing the last four games with a broken bone in his left hand. Zeller didn’t start, played 11 minutes and scored five points and had three rebounds.

TIP INS

Bulls: Shot 57% and scored 38 points in the paint in the first half. … Held a 46-20 edge in bench points. … Reserve Otto Porter had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Hornets: Shot 7 of 32 from 3-point range. … Had 14 turnovers in the first half.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host LeBron James and the Lakers on Saturday night.

Hornets: Face the Magic in Orlando on Sunday night and again on Monday.

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