CHICAGO – Zach LaVine scored 39 points and hit the go-ahead layup in the closing seconds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 108-107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
LaVine scored 13 in the fourth quarter as the Bulls wiped out a 10-point deficit on their way to one wild victory.
They trailed 107-106 after Jimmy Butler hit two free throws for Philadelphia with 4.8 seconds remaining. After a timeout, LaVine inbounded to Lopez and got fouled as he cut past Mike Scott for the go-ahead layup with 1.6 seconds remaining.
LaVine missed the free throw, but the Bulls came away with the win after one more twist. He broke up Ben Simmons’ inbounds pass to Butler underneath the 76ers’ basket. Both teams walked off the court and fans started to file out of the arena. The problem was, the horn sounded before anyone touched the ball.
After a review, the referees put 0.5 seconds back on the clock. But with one more chance, Philadelphia came up short when the inbounds pass skipped off Butler’s hands.
It was a sour finish for the former Chicago star who scored 22 points in his second game against his former team. Simmons had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. But the 76ers fell a game behind Toronto for third place in the Eastern Conference. They are 4-3 since the All-Star break, with All-Star center Joel Embiid sidelined by a sore left knee.
LaVine made 14 of 26 shots. Robin Lopez added 19 points as the Bulls snapped a two-game skid.
76ers: Coach Brett Brown said the 76ers have not made a decision on Embiid’s status for Friday’s game at Houston. The 7-footer did not travel with the team. “We’ve come this far in relation to rest after the All-Star break that, personally, I’m at a stage that if it requires more time, so be it,” Brown said. “The end game is obvious. It’s trying to deliver him to the playoffs healthy. I do look up from time to time and pay attention to the NBA calendar and it’s not like you have an abundance of time. But that is insignificant compared to what is most important, and that is getting him healthy, getting the spirit right and him healthy.”
Bulls: Lauri Markkanen picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the game and finished with 11 points.
76ers: Visit Houston on Friday.
Bulls: Host Detroit on Friday.