CHICAGO (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half, including a key 3-pointer with 48.5 seconds left, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks, 91-86, on Thursday night for their first win of the season.
Markkanen also grabbed 12 rebounds, leading a dominant rebounding effort for Chicago. Robin Lopez had 16 points and eight rebounds and reserve David Nwaba finished with 15 points and 11 boards, helping the Bulls to a whopping 62-40 advantage on the glass.READ MORE: Chicago Sky Win First WNBA Championship As They Top Phoenix Mercury
Marco Belinelli made five 3-pointers on his way to 23 points for Atlanta, which closed out a 1-4 trip — the franchise’s longest road trip to begin a season. Kent Bazemore scored 16 points and Mike Muscala finished with 14 points and 10 boards.
Belinelli made a 3 to give Atlanta an 86-85 lead with about 1:50 left, but the Hawks never scored again. Lopez passed to Justin Holiday for a reverse layup and Jerian Grant found Markkanen for his big 3 in the final minute, making it 90-86.
Grant added a free throw in the final seconds, helping Chicago close it out. He finished with 11 points and seven assists.
Rookie John Collins had 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting for Atlanta, but the Hawks shot 39.5 percent (32 for 81) overall.
Markkanen, the seventh overall pick in the June draft, made five 3-pointers and scored 19 points in Tuesday’s 119-112 loss at Cleveland, drawing praise from LeBron James for his shooting skills. He got off to a slow start against Atlanta, going 1 for 8 from the field in the first half, but he got back on track by putting the ball on the floor.READ MORE: Jubilant Fans, Booming Businesses Near Wintrust Arena As Chicago Sky Win WNBA Championship
The 7-foot Markkanen drove to the rim for a dunk and a three-point play with 8:33 left in the third. He added a slick driving layup with 6:48 to go, giving the Bulls a 49-44 lead after they trailed by as many as seven in the first half.
Bulls: F Paul Zipser was sidelined by a bruised right knee. Denzel Valentine replaced him in the starting lineup. … G Kris Dunn (left index finger dislocation) could make his Bulls debut Saturday against Oklahoma City. He got hurt during an Oct. 6 preseason game. “It’s still very swollen, so we’ll get a good practice with him tomorrow and then make that determination on Saturday,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Bulls: Host Oklahoma City on Saturday night. The Bulls and Thunder split two games last season, with each team winning on the road.MORE NEWS: Amid Another Day Of Water Pressure Woes In Dixmoor, Village President Says Relief Is On The Way
(© 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)