Bucks fall to Bulls 115-109
MILWAUKEE — Bobby Portis scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls won their fifth consecutive game, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 115-109 on Friday night.
Chicago’s winning streak coincides with the return of Nikola Mirotic, who had 22 points. The Bulls’ center missed the beginning of the season due to facial fractures suffered in a fight with Portis.
Mirotic made a wildly off-balance 5-footer while being fouled and converted the free throw to give the Bulls a 112-107 lead with 1:07 to go.
Eric Bledsoe and Rashad Vaughn each missed a 3-pointer for Milwaukee in the final minute. Mirotic made three free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 16 rebounds for the Bucks, who lost for just the third time in nine games. Khris Middleton also scored 29, while Bledsoe had 12 points and seven assists.
Portis hit a pair of foul shots to give Chicago the lead for good, 106-104, with 2:58 left. After a Milwaukee turnover, Mirotic drained a 3-pointer for a 109-104 lead with 2:42 to go.
Robin Lopez scored 18 points and Kris Dunn added 17 for the Bulls.
Vaughn hit a 3 and Middleton followed with a second-chance driving layup to give Milwaukee a 101-98 lead with 5:01 to play.
Milwaukee’s Thon Maker scored the final three points in the third quarter and the teams were tied 82-all heading into the fourth.
Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left in the second to give the Bulls a 59-58 halftime lead.
Milwaukee scored at least 100 points for the 11th consecutive game. “You’ve got three guys playing at a high level with Bled, Khris and Giannis,” coach Jason Kidd said before the game. “Sharing the ball is the key, and being able to make your free throws. Just making a play for a teammate and finding the open guy. Guys are moving the ball. Right now, the ball is going in for us.”
THINKING ABOUT MIRZA
The Bucks announced Thursday that Mirza Teletovic is out because of pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. He missed three months of the regular season due to blood clots in his lungs while playing for the Brooklyn Nets in 2015. “It’s not about basketball, it’s about life,” Kidd said. “We’re hoping for a speedy recovery and hopefully he has a chance to come back and play.”
Bulls: Rookie forward Lauri Markkanen didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee, missing his third consecutive game with back spasms. Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said Markkanen was being held out as a precaution. “He felt a lot better this morning,” Hoiberg said, adding that Markkanen still had some soreness.
Bucks: Lost for only the second time in nine home games.
Bulls: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Bucks: At the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.