FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Bulls 126, Boston 116. Bulls (16-44, 7-23 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 42 points (career high). Boston: Irving: 37 points.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 15. Boston: Morris: 6.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 5. Boston: Irving: 10.
CCI RECAP: Boston’s Jayson Tatum scored the first seven points of the game and Bulls Head Coach Jim Boylen called a quick timeout. Whatever the coach said, worked. The Bulls responded eventually outscoring the Celtics 36-18 in the second quarter. The Bulls bench was fantastic dictating play on both ends of the floor. The night however belonged to Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, each scoring career-highs of 42 points and 35 points respectively. LaVine brought out the entire package of three point shooting, dunks, drives to the rim. Markkanen has taken his game to the next level and and is putting up robust numbers game after game. Robin Lopez is enjoying a torrid stretch of productivity averaging 19 points over the past five games. In eight February games, Lopez is shooting 67% from the field. Otto Porter Jr. suffered a strained lower leg and did not play in the second half.
CCI IN THE LOCKER ROOM: Coach Boylen: "Obviously, I'm excited for Lauri and Zach to have those kind of nights, but those things don't mean anything unless you win... good team win tonight and we gotta keep growing and learning."
UP NEXT: Home with Milwaukee, Monday.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Houston 118, Golden State 112: The Rockets won despite the absence of James Harden who was ill. Eric Gordon scored 25 points.
Utah 125, Dallas 109: Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell and Jae Crowder combined for 72 points. The Mavs have lost four straight.
Milwaukee 140, Minnesota 128: The Bucks two All-Stars: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 47 points. Milwaukee has won 10 of 11 games and 16 of 18.
Portland 130, Philadelphia 115: Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter combined for 40 points and 18 rebounds as the Blazers big men took advantage of the 76ers who played without Joel Embiid.
Indiana 119, Washington 112: The Pacers are getting it done without Victor Oladipo, improving to 40-20. Domantas Sabonis recorded his 24th double-double, his 21st coming off the bench.
New Orleans 128, Los Angeles Lakers 115: Jrue Holiday nailed five three point hoops. The Pels played without Anthony Davis. The Lakers are 3 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Detroit 119, Miami 96: The Pistons bench outscored the Heat reserves 66-35. Miami falls to six games under .500.
Sacramento 119, Oklahoma City 116: Buddy Hield scored 34 points as the Kings won on the road. Paul George proved he was human going 4 of 19 from the floor.
Atlanta 120, Phoenix 112: The Suns have lost 17 straight games. Phoenix goes to 11-50. Atlanta stands at 20-40.
Brooklyn 117, Charlotte 115: D’Angelo Russell celebrated his 23rd birthday tying a career high with 40 points.
Cleveland 112, Memphis 107: Kevin Love scored 32 points. In four games since returning from an injured foot, Love is averaging 16 points per game. Memphis is in a free fall at 23-38. The Cavs are 14-46.