Zach LaVine scored 24 points, Lauri Markkanen added 20 and the Chicago Bulls defeated the short-handed Toronto Raptors 114-102 on Thursday night.
The Bulls pulled within two games of idle Washington with two remaining for 10th place in the Eastern Conference and the final play-in spot.
Chicago led by 24 in the third quarter, with the Raptors holding out their best players, and came away with the victory despite a big effort by Stanley Johnson.
“We don’t control our own desiny, but we live another day, so to speak here,” coach Billy Donovan said. “It’s out of our hands. And I thought it was important that we show up and do our job as best we can.”
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LaVine, coming off a 41-point in Tuesday’s loss to Brooklyn, scored 16 in the second half.
Markkanen made six 3-pointers — one shy of his season high.
Coby White had 17 points and 10 assists. Nikola Vucevic added 16 points and 16 rebounds to help the Bulls win for the fourth time in five matches.
Johnson led Toronto with a career-high 35 points. The sixth-year pro nailed six 3s and grabbed 10 rebounds while playing turnover-free ball.
“You put a lot of work in, you put a lot of effort into something, to get a positive result and affection is always good,” Johnson said.
“As much as you kill yourself when you’re down, you’ve got to give yourself a pat on the butt when you’re up. … To be able to play a decent game, a good game, I’m happy.”
Rookie Jalen Harris scored a personal-best 17. Malachi Flynn added 16 points. But Toronto lost for the eighth time in nine games.
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