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LaVine continues strong play, leads Bulls past Hornets

Zach LaVine continued his strong play with 25 points and nine assists, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 123-110 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Lauri Markkanen chipped in with 23 points and Coby White added 18 points and eight assists as the Bulls won their third straight.

Gordon Hayward scored 34 points for the Hornets and Devonte Graham had a season-high 24 points, 22 of those coming in the first half. But the Hornets committed 20 turnovers, leading to 26 Bulls points, as they dropped their fourth straight.

Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) dunks while being fouled by Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoJacob Kupferman)

LaVine, who had averaged 32.2 points over his previous five games, converted on 8 of 12 shots from the field and made all six foul shots. He also had six rebounds.

Chicago dominated the paint, scoring 64 points.

The Hornets trailed most of the game before cutting the lead to six with four minutes to go. But Markkanen slammed home an inside feed from Thaddeus Young and LaVine buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to push the lead back to double digits.

Chicago Bulls guard Coby White (0) tries to shoot while guarded by Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoJacob Kupferman)

ZELLER'S RETURN

Hornets center Cody Zeller was back on the floor after missing the last four games with a broken bone in his left hand. Zeller didn't start, played 11 minutes and scored five points and had three rebounds.

TIP INS

Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham (4) dribbles around Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoJacob Kupferman)

Bulls: Shot 57% and scored 38 points in the paint in the first half. ... Held a 46-20 edge in bench points. ... Reserve Otto Porter had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Hornets: Shot 7 of 32 from 3-point range. ... Had 14 turnovers in the first half.

UP NEXT

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (20) is guarded by Chicago Bulls guard Coby White (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoJacob Kupferman)

Bulls: Host LeBron James and the Lakers on Saturday night.

Hornets: Face the Magic in Orlando on Sunday night and again on Monday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Chicago Bulls center Daniel Gafford (12) dunks the ball over Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo while forward Gordon Hayward (20) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoJacob Kupferman)

Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) is guarded by Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller (40) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoJacob Kupferman)

Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham (4) drives to the basket while guarded by Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP PhotoJacob Kupferman)