Coby White and Nikola Vucevic recorded double-doubles to power the shorthanded Chicago Bulls past the host Dallas Mavericks 115-112 on Friday.
The result ended the Mavericks’ hopes of reaching the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Dallas (38-43) came into the evening trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder (39-42) by one game for the West’s final play-in spot yet played without Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., Christian Wood, Josh Green and Maxi Kleber . Luka Doncic was limited to just 12:35 of action, all in the first half, during which he scored 13 points despite shooting 0-of-5 from 3-point range.
Chicago (39-42), which had already clinched an Eastern Conference play-in spot, played without leading scorers DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine as well as Patrick Beverley. White finished with 24 points, a game-high 11 assists and seven rebounds to pick up the slack in the come-from-behind win.
Coby White balled out in Dallas tonight.
24 dots | 10-17 FG | 7 reb | 11th pic.twitter.com/n0dzFDK4KB
—Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 8, 2023
Vucevic also did his part, shooting 7 of 11 from the floor en route to 20 points, and he grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. The double-double marked his 51st of the season, behind only Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis and two-time reigning Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic of Denver.
The Bulls fell behind late in the first quarter and played from a deficit throughout the second and third periods. After trailing by as many as 15 points, Chicago did not retake the lead until 5:29 remained in regulation, when Patrick Williams banked in two of his 23 points for a 100-98 edge.
Williams’ bucket contributed to a 14-0 stretch for Chicago. The Bulls pulled ahead for good on the strength of that burst, but not without resistance from the Mavericks.
Doncic matched McKinley Wright IV and Markieff Morris for a team scoring high. Wright scored the last two of his points with 39.2 seconds to go, part of a 10-3 Mavericks run that cut Chicago’s lead to one.
Terry Taylor, who scored eight points on 4-of-4 shooting off the Chicago bench, gave the Bulls a three-point lead with a dunk on the ensuing possession.
Wright missed two 3-point attempts in the final seconds.
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