Panzura postgame wrap: Bulls 128, Pelicans 124
Two nights after New Orleans kept All-Star Donovan Mitchell relatively under control, the Pelicans couldn’t do much to slow down first-time All-Star Zach LaVine for a second time over a three-week span. As a result, Chicago built a 19-point second-half lead Wednesday, then held on in the final minute to prevail. The Pelicans cut their deficit to 117-113 with just over a minute left and eventually were only down a bucket, but the rally was a little too late.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Despite New Orleans going 3/3 twice at the foul line in the final 45 seconds, Chicago made its own late-game free throws to ice the victory. Coby White’s pair at 2.1 seconds put it away for good by making it a two-possession margin.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
After not playing for three quarters, second-year center Jaxson Hayes was a catalyst in getting his team and the Smoothie King Center crowd back into the game. Hayes went 5/5 from the field to account for all 10 of his points, throwing down dunks and blocking three shots. A couple of his highlight rejections seemed to fire up the fans in attendance. Meanwhile, JJ Redick reached 20-plus points for the first time since Dec. 23, like Hayes serving as a needed spark.
BY THE NUMBERS
1/11: New Orleans three-point shooting in the first half. The latter half was better at 5/11, but overall it meant a 6/22 night, which is 27 percent.
20/22: Chicago foul shooting. This was a very costly area for New Orleans, which went just 26/38. Zion Williamson shot 8/16; he spent time on the court after the buzzer to work on his shooting form, starting under the basket and moving out to the foul line.
Revisiting three keys to victory
It wasn’t as bad numbers-wise for New Orleans as Feb. 10, but LaVine made nearly the same impact, dominating stretches of Wednesday’s game. He scored 36 points this time, after he had 46 in the other Bulls victory.
BULLS ON THE BOARDS
In the two-game season series, Chicago won the rebounding battle 80-70, this time pounding the offensive boards with 13.
Scoring in the paint is rarely a problem for New Orleans, but it was a lower than normal night there (54 points). Williamson and Willy Hernangomez shot a combined 13/21 from the field.