CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine scored a career-high 42 points, Lauri Markkanen finished with a personal-best 35 points and 15 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls got some payback for the most lopsided loss in franchise history with a 126-116 victory over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.
LaVine surpassed his previous high of 41 points at New York on Nov. 5.
Markkanen, whose high coming in was 33 against the Knicks last season, became the fourth Chicago player in 10 years to score 20 or more in eight straight games. And the Bulls returned the favor for a 133-77 beating at the United Center in December that was also the biggest romp in the Celtics’ storied history.
Kyrie Irving led Boston with 37 points and 10 assists. Al Horford scored 19, but the Celtics lost for the fourth time in six games.
The Bulls went on an 18-3 run to start the second quarter, wiping out a five-point deficit, and led by as much as 15 in the first half before taking a 64-51 lead to the locker room.
They scored eight straight early in the third to go up 72-53, Robin Lopez’s hook and floater capping that spurt. Markkanen’s 3 made it 87-62 with 6:25 left in the period, and the Bulls withstood a push down the stretch.
Irving hit a 3 to cut it to 94-86 early in the fourth. But Markkanen answered with one of his own, then drove for a three-point play to make it a 14-point game with 9:28 remaining.
Celtics: Coach Brad Stevens had positive reviews for Northwestern’s renovated Welsh-Ryan Arena, after the Celtics practiced there on Friday. “I’ve always thought it’s fun to go to different places and sometimes it’s an opportunity to see something new, be in a new gym. With (Northwestern coach Chris Collins’) connection with our Duke players I knew that would be fun. I know a lot of guys on that staff and have a couple friends on the football staff as well. We had an extra time to come.” Collins played at Duke and was a longtime assistant there before taking the Northwestern job in 2013. He was on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff for Irving’s lone season there in 2010-11. Jayson Tatum — in his second season — also played at Duke. Stevens made two visits to Northwestern when he coached Butler.
Bulls: F Otto Porter Jr. sat out the second half because of a strained lower left leg. … Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy got a standing ovation when he was shown seated along the baseline during a timeout late in the first half.
Celtics: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.
Bulls: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
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