Chicago Bulls

Markkanen, hot-shooting Bulls top playoff-bound Wizards

Published:
Updated:
Chicago Bulls guard Justin Holiday, right, and Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr., chase for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)[]

CHICAGO – Rookie Lauri Markkanen scored 23 points and connected on 5 of 8 3-pointers to lead the Bulls to a 113-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Bobby Portis had 18 points and hit 4 of 5 from long range, and Sean Kilpatrick added 14 points. the Bulls shot 52.4 percent overall from the floor and were 18 for 34 on 3s – matching its season high – as Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg missed the game with an upper-respiratory infection.

Hoiberg returned home before tipoff, leaving associate head coach Jim Boylen to direct the Bulls to their second straight win following a seven-game skid.

Otto Porter Jr. led the Wizards with 17 points as five-time All-Star John Wall rested. Bradley Beal scored
15 points and reserve Mike Scott added 14.

Wall remained on the bench against the Bulls after playing 33 minutes in his first game in more than two months Saturday. The slick point guard had 15 points and 14 assists in the Wizards’ playoff-clinching 107-93 win over Charlotte.

Before Saturday, Wall had last played Jan. 25, six days before he underwent left knee surgery. The Wizards went 15-12 during his absence.

The Bulls opened a 15-point lead late in the first quarter before Washington finished the frame with a 6-0 run to cut it to 36-27. The Bulls shot 60.9 percent in the quarter and connected on 8 of 11 3-point attempts, with Markkanen and Portis each sinking three from long range.

The Bulls led, 68-59, at the half.

Getting a lift from Scott and others off their bench, the Wizards trimmed the Bulls’ lead to four points three times in the second quarter.

But the Bulls kept connecting. They upped their field-goal percentage to 64.3 and went 11 for 17 on 3s in the first half. Markkanen led with 15 points and four 3-pointers at the break.

The Bulls cooled down in the second half. But they effectively managed the lead – and used all but one bench player – before pulling away late.

Bulls notes: Guards Zach LaVine (left knee tendinitis) and Kris Dunn (right toe sprain) both missed their ninth straight games. Hoiberg, who met with reporters before the game despite being ill, said their status is day-to-day. ... Guard Antonio Blakeney (left wrist fracture) and forward Paul Zipser (left foot pain) also were inactive. ... Robin Lopez was back in the lineup, starting at center on his 30th birthday, after sitting out Friday’s 90-82 win in Orlando. Lopez was fined $25,000 for yelling at officials and failing to leave the court quickly after he was ejected in the fourth quarter of The Bulls’ loss at Miami Thursday.

Wizards notes: Coach Scott Brooks said Wall “felt pretty good” on Sunday, but plans for how to use the star in Washington’s final five regular-season games haven’t been finalized. Washington plays two back-to-back sets down the stretch. ... F Markieff Morris started on Sunday after leaving Saturday’s game with flu-like symptoms after nine minutes.