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Pelicans Outlast Bulls, 126-109

The Bulls are now just a game up on the Cavaliers and Raptors after dropping their second straight contest.

Zach LaVine Nikola Vucevic Bulls Pelicans
Photo: ChicagoBulls/Twitter

The Chicago Bulls just can’t get right. A 126-109 loss in New Orleans Thursday is the latest example of their misadventures.

The back-and-forth affair featured 14 lead changes and 11 ties, the last of which was blown to smithereens by a 12-0 Pelicans run midway through the fourth quarter. The Bulls have now lost two straight games and five of their last six.

While the Bulls (42-31) remain in fifth place in the Eastern Conference for now, they missed a golden opportunity to take a two-game lead on both Cleveland and Toronto, who beat the Cavaliers Thursday.

Things Fall Apart

The Bulls trailed 86-85 entering the fourth quarter but knotted the game at 90-90 at the 9:59 mark after a Coby White three-pointer and a pair of free throws from Alex Caruso. They then went scoreless for nearly the next three minutes as the Pelicans reeled off a dozen unanswered points.

Caruso, who committed two of his three turnovers during the Pelicans’ surge, drew Chicago to within 109-102 with a trey at the 3:42 mark of the quarter. But that was as close as the Bulls would get as the Brandon Ingram-less Pelicans shot a sizzling 61.1% from the field to close the game with a 40-point quarter.

For What It’s Worth 

With DeMar DeRozan sidelined, Zach LaVine (39 points on 12-for-23 shooting) and Coby White (23 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the field and 5-for-8 from deep) showed out in the loss.

LaVine nailed his first four shots of the game, including three from downtown, and scored 23 points in the first half. His downhill attacking led to five turnovers but also 13 free-throw attempts, 11 of which he converted.

His two highlight-reel dunks should help ease concerns about his troublesome knee. At least for a night anyway.

White scored 14 of his points in the first half, including a buzzer-beating three that cut a four-point deficit to 63-62 going into halftime.

White’s 23 points were his highest point total since Feb. 16.

What’s On Tap Next?

The Bulls are headed to Cleveland, the third stop on their five-game road trip, to face the Cavaliers Saturday. With a victory, the Bulls will clinch the season series and further distance themselves from NBA Play-In Tournament territory. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM CDT.

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Just a guy who loves sports almost as much as I love writing about them. Chicago through and through. “When they go low, we stay high.”

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