Nikola Vucevic's big night powers Bulls past Hornets | Inquirer Sports

Nikola Vucevic’s big night powers Bulls past Hornets

/ 03:10 PM November 30, 2021
Gordon Hayward #20 of the Charlotte Hornets tries to get off a shot against Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 29, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

Gordon Hayward #20 of the Charlotte Hornets tries to get off a shot against Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 29, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.  Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP 

Nikola Vucevic notched a double-double of 30 points and 14 rebounds and DeMar DeRozan had 28 points to lift the host Chicago Bulls to a 133-119 victory against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

Shooting 59.6 percent for the night — including a 46.2 percent effort from long range — the Bulls led by as many as 23 points while sending the Hornets to their second straight defeat to open a four-game road trip.

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Zach LaVine (25 points), Lonzo Ball (16) and Alex Caruso (14) also finished in double figures for the Bulls, who registered a season high in points. LaVine initially was listed as questionable for the game with a non-COVID-19-related illness.

Terry Rozier paced Charlotte with 31 points on 11-for-17 shooting. Gordon Hayward scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter while sparking a 23-6 run to open the period that helped the Hornets pull to within four at 110-106 with 7:31 remaining. The Bulls created distance again by scoring the game’s next nine points.

LaMelo Ball had a double-double of 18 points and 13 assists for Charlotte. Miles Bridges snagged eight rebounds to lead the team.

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Kelly Oubre Jr. chipped in 18 points for Charlotte, while P.J. Washington followed with 15.

Vucevic shot 12-for-19 from the field while connecting on each of his six 3-pointers, matching a career high for treys.

After Hayward split a pair of free throws to trim the Charlotte deficit to 60-58 with 1:56 to go in the second quarter, the Bulls roared to a 9-0 run to close the half. Vucevic punctuated the spurt with a trey to beat the buzzer, while Caruso scored four points during the run.

Vucevic led all scorers with 17 points at the break. Washington drilled each of his four 3-point attempts in the first quarter, as the teams combined for 10 treys in that span.

The Bulls have won four straight against the Hornets and claimed 22 of the teams’ 30 meetings in Chicago.

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