LAVINE’S 36 POINTS LIFT BULLS PAST PELICANS 128-124

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zach LaVine capped a 36-point performance with a driving layup and four free throws during the final minute, and the Chicago Bulls held off a late rally to beat the mercurial New Orleans Pelicans 128-124 on Wednesday night.

“I’ve got to stay aggressive,” LaVine said, noting that he might have been too eager to pass when the Pelicans tightened the game up in the final five minutes. “It makes the play a little bit easier, because if they don’t stop me, then obviously I’m at the rim or have an open shot.

“I feel comfortable taking those free throws at the end of the game,” LaVine added.

Coby White scored 25 for the Bulls, who led by as many as 19 and were still up 18 in the fourth quarter before the Pelicans’ late surge pulled them as close as 117-113 on Jaxson Hayes alley-oop dunk as he was fouled with 1:49 left.

Hayes missed the free throw, however, and Zion Williamson, who scored 28 points, missed two free throws with a chance to cut it to two with 1:23 left.

“I really feel like I let my team down, man,” said Williamson, who missed eight of 16 free throws in the game and returned to the empty court afterward to work on his foul shots. “I’ve got to be better in that situation. If I want to be one of those great players and I take a lot of responsibility, I’ve got to be ready for those moments.”

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