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.”

TJ McConnell tallies triple-double with steals vs. Cavaliers

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McConnell was one steal shy of tying the NBA’s single-game record but notched a triple-double that broke the main slate on DraftKings. He tallied 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting to go along with 10 steals and 13 assists. McConnell tallied 66 DKFP and helped power the Pacers to a comeback win. Indiana claimed a 114-111 victory.

Indiana Pacers guard TJ McConnell is the ultimate glue guy, and he could etch his name in the NBA’s record books on Wednesday in his team’s matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. McConnell is known for making hustle plays, but his spectacular defense is what’s turning heads against Cleveland.

McConnell racked up a ridiculous nine steals in the first half. The record for most steals by a player in an NBA game is 11, and there’s plenty of time for McConnell to catch up. The undersized guard is a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with 8 points and has dished out 6 dimes as well in a well-rounded performance. Despite all his ball-hawking, the Pacers trial 61-51.

The Cavs have been careless with the ball and amassed 17 turnovers in the first half. However, they’re shooting a blistering 59.5% from the field and 46.2% from deep. Four Cavs scored at least 10 points in the first half. Cleveland will have to protect the ball a lot better in the second half to hold onto its lead.

How to watch Heat vs. Hawks: Live stream, TV channel, start time for Tuesday’s NBA game

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Get ready for a Southeast Division battle as the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks will face off at 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami is out to keep their five-game home win streak alive.

Atlanta is out to make up for these teams’ contest on Sunday. The Heat were able to grind out a solid win over Atlanta, winning 109-99. Miami can attribute much of their success to shooting guard Kendrick Nunn, who had 24 points and seven assists.

Miami is the favorite in this one, with an expected 3.5-point margin of victory. They are currently six-for-six against the spread in their most recent games, a trend bettors might want to take into account.

Miami’s victory lifted them to 17-17 while Atlanta’s loss dropped them down to 14-20. We’ll see if the Heat can repeat their recent success or if the Hawks bounce back and reverse their fortune.