Rookie White aims to shoot Bulls past Bucks
Coby White was hotter than lava in his 11th NBA game.
The rookie guard looks to follow up a historic performance when his Chicago Bulls visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
White made a franchise-record seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of Chicago's 120-102 home win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old White entered the final stanza with just four points. He completed it with 27 and hearing the United Center fans chanting his name after falling two shy of Klay Thompson's NBA record of nine treys in a quarter.
"I had been shooting it bad, so it was good to see that first one fall," White said. "Then I just got into a good rhythm."
White, the seventh overall pick out of North Carolina, was in a deep 3-of-26 slump from long range entering the contest.
The breakout occurred because White refused to stop firing.
"I know to shoot your way out of a slump, you gotta shoot the ball and stay confident," White said. "If you're not confident, you're never going to hit shots. I just try to stick to my plan. Get in the gym, get up extra shots and stay level-headed and confident."
The big effort raised White's scoring average to 12.5 points per game. His previous single-game high was 25 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 25.
White's 3-point percentage is still sagging at 28.6 percent despite the memorable outing that was witnessed by his college coach, Roy Williams.
"I thought the beauty in Coby's game was he let it come to him," Chicago coach Jim Boylen said afterward. "But we found him and we honored what he was doing by keep feeding him."
The next task for White is seeing if he can help the Bulls end a six-game losing streak against the Bucks.
Milwaukee is reeling after losing All-Star small forward Khris Middleton for three to four weeks with a left thigh injury.
The injury occurred in the Bucks' most recent game, Sunday's 121-119 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"Just got a knee to my quad," Middleton told reporters after the game, before the severity was known. "Tried to run it off for a second, tried to come back here, get it stretched out and just couldn't do it."
Middleton is Milwaukee's second-leading scorer at 18.5 points per game.
It will be hard for the Bucks to expect more from reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 29.7 points, 14.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists.
Antetokounmpo has recorded a double-double in all 10 games and has scored 30 or more points six times, including each of the past five games.
Antetokounmpo was less than thrilled with his outing against Oklahoma City as he started slowly and scored 24 of his 35 points in the second half.
"I wasn't playing good basketball," Antetokounmpo said. "I wasn't being as aggressive as I wanted."
Point guard Eric Bledsoe (16.3), center Brook Lopez (10.3) and reserve guard George Hill (10.1) also average in double digits for Milwaukee.
Shooting guard Zach LaVine leads Chicago with a 20.0 average. He scored 25 points against the Knicks for his sixth 20-point outing of the campaign.
The Bulls hope to get small forward Otto Porter Jr. (foot) back after a two-game absence. Also, post player Cristiano Felicio broke his right wrist in practice on Monday and could miss up to eight weeks.
The Bulls and Bucks will meet again in Chicago on Monday.
--Field Level Media
Updated November 13, 2019