FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Bulls 120, Charlotte 114 (Bulls: 27-51, 17-22 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Markkanen, 24 points. Hornets: Howard, 23 points.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Nwaba, 9. Hornets: Howard, 17.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Payne, 7. Hornets: Batum, 5
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: It came down to a fourth quarter shoot out between Sean Kilpatrick and Malik Monk. That’s right, this is not a typo. Both players going at it with the game on the line and they both delivered. Kilpatrick scored 19 of his 21 points in the final period including a huge top side three ball. Monk was strong to the rim and also buried multiple long range jumpers. Ryan Arcidiacono , basking in the glow of his Villanova Wildcats winning the NCAA title, ran effective half court sets grabbing four rebounds, assisting on three baskets and coming away with two steals. The Bulls posted their third straight win and now hit the road to face a Celtics team that will be in Toronto tonight. The Celtics will face the Bulls in a three games in four nights schedule and by the time tipoff comes around Friday night, the Celtics may be locked into the second seed. If that’s the case, will Boston rest players? Stay tuned.
BULLS STAT OF THE NIGHT: 5. Lauri Markkanen with back to back games of making 5 three-point field goals. He now has 137 made 3s in 65 games. Totally impressive.
CCI 2nd STAT OF THE NIGHT: 28. The Bulls scored 28 points off the Hornets 20 turnovers.
VALENTINE TO UNDERGO SURGERY: The Bulls announced That Denzel Valentine will undergo arthroscopic debridement on his left knee today.
Denzel appeared in 77 games and averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 27 minutes.
UP NEXT: At Boston, Friday night.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES:
Milwaukee 106, Boston 102 - Giannis Antetokounmpo with 29 points and 11 rebounds as the Bucks beat Boston. The Celtics backcourt is really banged up. I told Bill Wennington on the broadcast the Celtics should consider signing the great Bob Cousy to a 10 day. Capt. Obvious, kidding…or am I? LOL. The Celtics are in Toronto tonight.
Cleveland 112, Toronto 106 - The Cavs beat the Raptors in Cleveland. LeBron James with 27 and in doing so did he send a message to Toronto regarding the upcoming playoffs?
Philadelphia 121, Brooklyn 95 - The 76ers won their 11th straight and go to 47-30 on the season. Ben Simmons is choppin’ it up with another powerful game of 15-12 in the contest.
LA Clippers 113, San Antonio 110 - The Clippers battled back and erased a 19 point deficit to take the win. San Antonio will finish with a record below .600 for the first time since 1996-97. The Clippers stay very much alive for a playoff berth in the tight West.
Miami 101, Atlanta 98 - The Heat qualified for the playoffs for the 20th time in 30 seasons.
Golden State 111, Oklahoma City 107 - Kevin Durant was booed throughout the game in OKC, but he scored 34 points against his old ballclub. Steph Curry missed his sixth straight game with a left MCL sprain. Russell Westbrook with a monster game in the loss put up 44 points and 16 rebounds.
Houston 120, Washington 104 - James Harden with 38-10-9. The Rockets are 63-15; 33-6 at home.
Denver 107, Indiana 104 - The Nuggets are within a half game of the eight seed Pelicans for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Nikola Jokic with 30 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
Dallas 115, Portland 109 - Dennis Smith Jr with 18 points, 8 assists.
Orlando 97, New York 73 - At MSG, Orlando ended a three game slide by humiliating the Knicks in their own building.
Utah 117 - Lakers 110 - The combination of Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell scored 57 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists. Rudy Gobert with a huge game of 12 points, 16 boards and 3 blocks.
Phoenix 97, Sacramento 94 - Bulletin just in…..The Suns have won a game! The Suns have won a game!
Five game suspensions for Utah’s Thabo Sefolosha and Dallas’ Nerlens Noel for violating the terms of the NBA/NBAPA Anti- Drug Program.