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02/25/24 08:33:00

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02/25 20:31 CST Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan lead the Bulls past the Pelicans 114-106 Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan lead the Bulls past the Pelicans 114-106 By BRETT MARTEL AP Sports Writer NEW ORLEANS (AP) --- Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 13 rebounds for his 31st double-double this season, and the Chicago Bulls defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 114-106 on Sunday night to sweep the season series. DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, including a left wing 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to give the Bulls a 111-106 lead. Ayo Desunmu added 21 points for Chicago, which also finished with a significant edge at the foul line, hitting 19 of 21 free throws while New Orleans made 10 of 14. Zion Williamson scored 19 points, tied a career-high with 11 assists and grabbed nine rebounds for the Pelicans, who dropped their second straight game after winning eight of nine. Brandon Ingram, back from a two-game absence caused by a non-COVID illness, scored 22 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 17 rebounds for New Orleans. The Pelicans took their largest lead at 12 points when rookie Jordan Hawkins hit a driving floater to make it 82-70 late in the third quarter. But Chicago responded by scoring the last 11 points in the period, starting with Vucevic's 3 and ending with Jevon Carter's rainbow pull-up near the baseline to make it 82-81. New Orleans was playing without two regular ballhandlers, including starting guard CJ McCollum, who left the Pelicans' 106-95 loss to Miami on Friday with a sprained left ankle. Also out were reserve point guard Jose Alvarado and reserve wing player Naji Marshall, who were suspended for their involvement in a scuffle with Heat players. Williamson and Jones served as primary ballhandlers on a starting lineup that also featured Valanciunas, Ingram and Murphy. It appeared to be an issue in the first quarter, when the Pelicans turned the ball over seven times. The Bulls closed out the opening period on an 18-3 run during which Dosunmu hit twice from deep. DeRozan made a 3 and converted a three-point play on a pull-up jumper as he was fouled by Jeremiah Robinson-Earl during the spurt, which put Chicago up 28-21. The Pelicans did not turn the ball over and found more rhythm offensively during the second quarter, when they outscored the Bulls 39-29. Ingram scored 13 points during the period and Murphy's third 3 of the half gave New Orleans a 60-57 lead at the break. UP NEXT Bulls: Host Detroit on Tuesday night. Pelicans: Visit New York on Tuesday night. ___ AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba
 
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