LaVine scores 46 points, Bulls hit 25 3s to beat Pelicans

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Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine dunks past New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — It was Zach LaVine and Coby White all night long. There were layups and jams, well-placed passes and 3-pointers.

So many 3s.

LaVine scored a season-high 46 points, hitting nine of Chicago’s franchise-record 25 3-pointers, and the Bulls cooled off the New Orleans Pelicans with a 129-116 victory Wednesday.

“I expect to do that. I put in the time and effort,” LaVine said. “It happens that way. You hit a couple, get hot. You wish it could happen every game. Obviously, it can’t. But when you get in a zone, you want to stay in it.”

White made eight 3s and scored 30 points in an impressive show by Chicago’s starting backcourt. LaVine and White became the first duo in NBA history to make at least eight 3s apiece in the same game, according to STATS.

Denzel Valentine added four 3-pointers and 16 points as the Bulls went 25 for 47 from beyond the arc and shot 59% (48 for 81) overall.

“We (were) due for a good team shooting night,” White said. “We haven’t been shooting the ball well as a team, especially at home.”

New Orleans had won four in a row, including a 130-101 victory over Houston on Tuesday night. But the Pelicans looked a little tired in the second half of the opener of a four-game trip.

“Bad combination tonight of them being great and making shots and us being a step slow defensively,” coach Stan Van Gundy said.

Zion Williamson had 29 points for New Orleans, and Brandon Ingram finished with 21 points on 6-for-19 shooting. Lonzo Ball scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half.

New Orleans led 74-66 at the break despite Chicago setting a franchise record with 14 3s in the first half. But the Bulls rolled right by the Pelicans with a big third quarter.

White connected from long range and Daniel Gafford had a driving dunk with 7:03 left, capping a 19-2 run for Chicago. White hit another 3 with 15.3 seconds remaining in the third, lifting the Bulls to a 106-88 lead.

“Their ball movement was incredible,” Williamson said. “The pace of their offense was great, and they were also hitting shots.”

TURNING IT AROUND

White had been struggling, shooting just 35.9% from the field in his previous five games. But he went 8 for 17 from deep and 10 for 20 overall in the victory over New Orleans. He also had seven assists.

“I’m very happy for Coby that he got back on track,” LaVine said. “He showed that confidence again.”

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Rookie PG Kira Lewis Jr. scored a career-high 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting. The 19-year-old Lewis was the No. 13 pick in last year’s draft. “I love his mindset. I love his approach to the game. I just really love his mentality,” Van Gundy said. “(Assistant coach) Teresa Weatherspoon’s done a terrific job with him, getting him acclimated to the NBA, and I really look forward to watching his growth as the season goes on.”

Bulls: C Wendell Carter Jr. (bruised right quadriceps) has been doing some running, but coach Billy Donovan said he doesn’t have a timetable for his return. Carter hasn’t appeared in a game since Jan. 18. “For right now he continues to progress in a very positive way,” Donovan said. … F Otto Porter Jr. missed his fifth straight game with recurring back spasms. Donovan said he is still experiencing discomfort. “It’s been very, very limited for him,” he said. … The Bulls had dropped three of four.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Visit the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. The teams were supposed to play Jan. 11, but the game was postponed because of COVID-19 issues with the Mavs.

Bulls: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. The Bulls lost 130-127 to the Clippers in their first meeting of the season Jan. 10.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap

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