CHICAGO (AP)Coby White is taking his game to new levels – and reaching some rarified Air.
White scored 33 points to join Michael Jordan as the only Bulls rookies with 30 or more in consecutive games, and Chicago overcame Bradley Beal’s career-high 53 to snap an eight-game losing streak with a 126-117 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
Zach LaVine added 32 points and broke the franchise record for 3-pointers in a season.
Chicago led by 25 early in the third quarter after scoring 15 straight, and hung on after the Wizards pulled within seven in the fourth.
White wasn’t picked for the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend in Chicago. But now, his name is alongside Jordan’s.
”It means a lot,” he said. ”He’s the G.O.A.T. I’ve really got an opportunity to get better, got to build from it.”
White matched the career high he set the previous night against Phoenix.
He became the NBA’s first rookie reserve with 30-plus points in consecutive games since the league began tracking starters in 1970-71, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He also joined Allen Iverson and Trae Young as the only rookies since 1992 with 33 or more in consecutive games.
White might not be coming off the bench much longer. Coach Jim Boylen will at least consider starting him.
”We got a second group that’s playing pretty good again,” Boylen said. ”We’re also melding Coby into that first group at times in the game. So, coming off two 33-point games, I don’t know if it makes sense to do that. We’ll examine it. We’ll look at it.”
LaVine made six 3-pointers to extend his career-high total to 177 and break Ben Gordon’s mark of 173 in 2008-09.
Thaddeus Young scored 25 while going 5 of 7 from beyond the arc, and the Bulls hit 18 of 37 on the way to their first win since they beat San Antonio on Jan. 27.
As for the Wizards?
”It’s pretty simple,” coach Scott Brooks said. ”We’re playing soft.”
He’ll get no argument from Beal, who surpassed his previous best of 51 points at Portland on Dec. 5, 2017. Davis Bertans scored 22 for Washington.
”I have to agree with (Brooks),” Beal said. ”I put myself in that group, too. I can be better on the defensive end and the all-around game. We all can be better.”
Wizards: Centers Thomas Bryant (sore right foot) and Ian Mahinmi (sore right foot) played 14 and eight minutes, respectively.
Bulls: Boylen made it clear he is not apologizing for calling timeouts late in games that are out of reach. The issue came up again in the loss to Phoenix on Saturday, when TV cameras caught LaVine showing frustration after Boylen called one with 30 seconds remaining and the Chicago trailing by 10. ”You could video me on a 2-on-1 when we turn it over and I make an expression,” Boylen said. ”You could video me on a wide-open 3 we miss and then on the other end they make a contested 3, I make an expression. You could do that on every clip, in every situation. We were down 10, I called a timeout to coach my team. … But I could see where people think it would be unnecessary. That’s OK.”
White wasted no time taking over, pouring in 26 points as the Bulls grabbed a 73-58 halftime lead.
He started a 15-0 run when he nailed his fifth 3-pointer with 34 seconds left before Tomas Satoransky drove for a layup to send Chicago to the locker room with a 15-point lead.
LaVine, who scored 41 in a loss at Washington on Feb. 11, started the third quarter by nailing two 3-pointers and a free throw after Beal picked up a technical. Young finished the run with a 3 to make it 83-58.
The Wizards cut it to 107-100 in the fourth quarter. It was an eight-point game when LaVine threw down back-to-back dunks to make it 119-107 with 4:13 left.
”It’s cool. I didn’t even realize it until they said it during the game.” – LaVine on the 3-point record.
Wizards: Host Milwaukee on Monday.
Bulls: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
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