CHICAGO (AP) — Otto Porter Jr. is no longer taking a back seat when it comes to scoring.
Porter scored a career-high 37 points on 16-for-20 shooting, Robin Lopez added season-high 25 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Memphis Grizzlies 122-110 on Wednesday night.
Lauri Markkanen added 21 points as Chicago ended a franchise-record 11-game home losing streak with their first win at the United Center since beating Orlando on Dec. 21.
Porter scored at ease, getting the Bulls’ first six points in the third quarter and capping it off with a dunk off a pass from Zach LaVine. Porter later set up LaVine for a three-point play to give the Bulls a 80-66 lead with 7:21 left in the quarter.
Porter was acquired a day before the deadline in a trade with Washington, where Joh Wall and Bradley Beal were the primary options. Porter is adjusting just fine to his new scoring role in the Chicago offense.
“It’s totally different. I mean I’m just getting here, so I’m still figuring it out,” Porter said.
He was 3 for 5 from 3-point range in his third career 30-point game.
“Obviously, Otto had a big night. He let it come to him, he took good shots, had a nice rhythm, got the ball in his hands. His versatility, I thought, really showed,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said.
Bradley got Memphis to 109-101 with 4:48 left, but the Bulls answered with a 10-0 run. Markkanen made a 3 to give the Bulls a 118-101 lead with 2:33 left.
The Bulls also won for just the fourth time in 22 games.
Avery Bradley scored 15 points for the Grizzlies, who lost for the second straight night.
“I think we were tired. There was no about it. We had a bunch of guys put forth a ton of effort in a game that went down to the wire. Guys were competitive and the energy level was high, the spirit was high. Tonight, we just couldn’t find a spark,” Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.
Mike Conley was back in the Grizzlies’ lineup after missing Tuesday’s 108-107 loss to the Spurs with an illness. He finished with 12 points.
Porter shot 8 for 9 from the field and 3 for 3 from 3-point range for 21 points in the first half.
“He (Porter) played very well, but not only him, but Lopez as well, Robin. He had a really good game. I thought he was the difference maker. He set the tone for the game for their team,” Bradley said.
The Bulls led 67-62 at the half. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jonas Valciunas each had 10 points for the Grizzlies and they each finished with 12 points.
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