Bulls, Hawks to meet again after four-overtime thriller
The Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls will finish their four-game series on Sunday afternoon - if either team has anything left in their tanks.
The Eastern Conference foes played a four-overtime game on Friday night, leaving both teams on the brink of exhaustion. The memorable game finished with the Bulls pulling away at the end for a 168-161 victory, leaving both clubs with little time to prepare for the rematch at Chicago.
"I've never been part of a game that long," Chicago's Zach LaVine said. "It's tiring. That's the only word I can say. It's tiring as hell."
The game saw both clubs set a franchise record for most points scored in a game. It was third-highest-scoring game in NBA history and only the 16th quadruple-OT game.
The Bulls had three players score 30-plus points, including LaVine with a career-high 47 points, and Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter Jr. with 41 each. The Hawks had rookie Trae Young score a career-high 49, 39 of them in the second half.
"That was a fun game to play, probably one of the most fun games I've played in my career," Young said. "I'm proud of the way we fought. We came up short, but I love the way we fought."
LaVine kept the Bulls in Friday's game with his performance in overtime. He tied the game twice with baskets in the third overtime and hit a layup with 37 seconds left in the fourth overtime that gave the Bulls a commanding five-point lead.
LaVine became the fifth Bulls player since 2000-01 to score 20-plus points in 40 or more games. He matched his career best with 17 field goals and set a season high with six 3-pointers.
Markkenen has scored 20 points in 12 straight games, making him the third Bull in the last 10 seasons with a streak of 10 games or more. He grabbed 17 rebounds, giving him a double-double in a career-best five straight games.
Porter showed no signs of the leg strain that caused him to miss the game with the Bucks on Feb. 25. He topped 30 points for the second time since being acquired from the Wizards on Feb. 6 and matched his career-best with seven 3-pointers.
Young continues to build a case for NBA Rookie of the Year. He scored 30-plus points for the third straight game and for the fourth time in five games. Young had 16 assists, one shy of his season-best, and recorded his 21st double-double. He is averaging 18.3 points and 7.8 assists.
Chicago has won five of its last six games and has won two of three games against Atlanta.
It remains to be seen whether Atlanta forward John Collins, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, will make the trip to Chicago. He is suffering from the flu and was told Friday to stay away from the arena in an effort to prevent the illness from spreading.
The Hawks may also be without rookie Omari Spellman, who started in place of Collins. Spellman had to be helped from the court on Friday after badly spraining his left ankle. Rookie Kevin Huerter also left the game in the first half after a fall following a dunk but was able to return.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 2, 2019