LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Zach LaVine’s biggest contributions came in the final two minutes as the Chicago Bulls eased past the Orlando Magic 105-101 on Monday.
LaVine busted loose for a thunderous go-ahead dunk to break a 101-101 tie then iced the win with two free throws for the Bulls, who won despite blowing an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter.
LaVine finished with 18 points while Lauri Markkanen delivered 21 as Chicago won their second straight after losing seven in a row.
LaVine stole Jonathon Simmons’ inbounds pass with 15 seconds left and finished with a slam. He added the free throws after Mario Hezonja missed a three-pointer.
“I was trying to be aggressive on the inbounds,” LaVine said. “I wasn’t trying to obviously go for a steal and be able to get out of position, but it opened up like it did.
“I embrace it. You have to get it done. Everybody wants to have the ball in their hands at the end of games. But you have to have the confidence and the ability to do it. And I think I do.”
Bobby Portis added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Jerian Grant had 14 points and seven assists in the win.
Hezonja led Orlando with 24 points, and Evan Fournier scored 22.
The Bulls appeared to be headed to victory after going on an 11-0 run that gave them a 93-75 lead with eight minutes remaining.
But the Magic didn’t give up as Hezonja nailed a three-pointer with just over three minutes left in regulation to give them a two point, 98-96, lead.
Portis later tied it 101-101 by hitting a shot from beyond the arc with 2:29 left, setting the stage for LaVine’s final minute heroics.
Elsewhere, Anthony Davis delivered 38 points and 10 rebounds, Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic each scored 21, and the New Orleans Pelicans stopped the Detroit Pistons 118-103.
© Agence France-Presse