LaVine drops 39 in 1st half, 50 for game in loss

ATLANTA — Trae Young scored 42 points to help the Atlanta Hawks overcome a sizzling performance by Zach LaVine to beat the Chicago Bulls 120-108 on Friday night.

LaVine scored 39 of his career-high 50 points in the first half, and Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and 10 rebounds, but the Bulls’ three-game winning streak was snapped. Chicago was trying to win four straight for the first time since December 2017.

LaVine scored 25 straight in the second quarter in setting the NBA high for points in the first half this season. The 39 points was also the third most in the first half of a game in the past 25 seasons, trailing only the 42 and 40 that Kobe Bryant and Klay Thompson scored, respectively, in 2003 and 2016.

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“I just got in a rhythm,” LaVine said. “My 3s started falling and then I can get to the midrange and get to the hoop. I was trying to get to the free throw line late in the second quarter because I was so damn tired. Trying to get a little bit of a break.”

The Hawks didn’t go easily, taking an 86-84 lead entering the fourth.

It appeared the Bulls were in good shape when LaVine hit a layup to put Chicago up 88-86 with 11 minutes, 7 seconds remaining. But Danilo Gallinari, who finished with 20 points in a reserve role, drilled a straightaway 3 at the 5:48 mark. Young fed Clint Capela for an alley-oop dunk two possessions later to make it 104-101 in favor of the Hawks.

Another straightaway 3 by Gallinari and a bank shot by Young put Atlanta ahead 111-103 with 3:26 to play. LaVine came out of a timeout to commit a traveling turnover, and the Hawks took a comfortable 10-point lead on Capela’s dunk with 2:42 remaining.

Gallinari followed with a 3 from the left wing to put Atlanta up 116-106 in the final minute to extend a 19-4 run and end any remaining suspense.

LaVine, an All-Star guard, outscored the Hawks 10-4 by the 9:46 mark of the first and then made it 14-10 with a fast-break alley-oop layup. He scored 39 of the Bulls’ first 62 points as Chicago took an 11-point lead with 2:51 left in the second. LaVine was 13-for-18 from the field and 7-for-9 on 3s in the first half.

LaVine, the first Bulls player to score 30 in the first half since Michael Jordan piled up as many on Feb. 24, 1997, against Portland, had another crowning achievement this season. He began the game as one of three players to average 25.0 points while shooting 50% from the field, 40% on 3s and 85% on free throws.

But the Hawks made sure LaVine didn’t continue that tear in the second half.

“We had to change the game plan a little bit, of course,” Gallinari said. “LaVine had an amazing first half. We were way more aggressive on him in trying to get the ball out of his hands.”

LaVine’s previous season high was 46 on Feb. 10 against New Orleans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.