By Richard Kagan
The Chicago Bulls were missing Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Denzel Valentine, who are out for the remaining games on the Bulls schedule. Veteran C Robin Lopez did not play either.
Chicago did have Lauri Markkanen who was hot from down-town, and he led the Bulls past the Charlotte Hornets with 24 points. Chicago also got a stunner from G Sean Kilpatrick who scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls earn their 27th win of the season and its third straight, since coming off a seven game losing streak.
Kilpatrick finished with 21 points in the game. Justin Holiday scored 19 and Bobby Portis again came off the bench to add 16 points. David Nwaba had 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Markkanen went 5 for 6 from downtown. The second consecutive game he’s connected on five treys. He became the 9th rookie in NBA history to do so. Chicago went 15-34 from long-range for 44%. That was enough to get by the Hornets, 120-114.
Charlotte committed 20 turnovers and this helped the Bulls cause last night. The Bulls only turned the ball over 7 times.
Head coach Fred Hoiberg said of Markannen’s hot night, “He’s obviously shooting the ball really well.”
Malik Monk had 21 points to lead Charlotte in scoring.
With this win, the Bulls moved up in the win totals, and this did not help the Bulls trajectory toward obtaining draft rights in the NBA lottery. As it stands, the Bulls will get a high pick, it probably won’t be in the top four. Right now, the team is focused on winning. With this win, the Bulls have won three games in a row.
Chicago goes on the road to play the Boston Celtics, one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.