By Richard Kagan
The Chicago Bulls played a lot of games without Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine and the losses were piling up.
Chicago played at home versus the Washington Wizards in a Sunday matinée game and had the hot hand. The Bulls torched Washington for 18 three pointers in a 113-94 win.
Rookie Lauri Markkanen flashed his mid-season form as he scored 23 points including some nifty three-point shots. Chicago went 52% from the field and 53% from long-range, (18-34). Chicago got strong bench play with F Bobby Portis scoring 18 points and Sean Kilpatrick 14 to help off-set the absence of Dunn and LaVine.
Washington clinched a playoff spot last night and rested John Wall, who played Saturday night. The Wizards hit for 18 treys, tying a franchise record against the Charlotte Hornets but could not find the range in today’s game versus the Bulls. They went 8-30 for 27%, with G Bradley Beal, going 0-6 from downtown.
Chicago (26-51) also got a strong game from G Jerian Grant who scored 11 points and dished for seven assists in a reserve role.
There has been much talk about the possibility of the Bulls tanking to get the highest lottery pick available. They recently broke a seven game losing streak with a road win vs. the Orlando Magic. Now, they beat the Wizards, on their way to the playoffs. So look out Bulls. The players want to win, their coach wants to win. It is hard when you are missing two of your starters in Dunn and LaVine. The big three, including Markkanen have hardly been on the same court with each other this season.
With the season winding down, there may be little incentive to play Dunn or LaVine.