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Markkanen, Kilpatrick lead Bulls over Hornets, 120-114

CHICAGO (AP) Many believe it's in the Bulls' best interests to lose as many games as possible as the regular season winds down.

The players don't.

Lauri Markkanen scored 24 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 21 off the bench to lead Chicago to a 120-114 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night.

Markkanen didn't play in the fourth quarter and totaled just 24 minutes for the game. The 7-foot rookie was 8 of 14 from the field, including 5 of 6 on 3-pointers.

Justin Holiday had 19 points and Bobby Portis added 16 for Chicago, which has won three straight.

The winning streak could drop the Bulls a few spots in the June draft, but that's of no concern inside the locker room.

''We're going out there and try to win every game,'' Markkanen said. ''I hope we can keep this thing going.''

Dwight Howard had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Malik Monk scored 21 points for Charlotte, which has dropped four straight.

''Turnovers just crushed us, both in the third and fourth,'' Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. ''I mean, we did some good things, but just really poor, poor turnovers that led directly to easy baskets. That was the difference.''

The Bulls had an 86-79 lead entering the fourth quarter before coach Fred Hoiberg decided to sit most of his regulars and unofficially tank.

Kilpatrick, though, had other plans and took over the reigns of the offense, scoring 19 points in the final 12 minutes to hold off Monk (16 in the fourth) and Charlotte.

Kilpatrick iced the game with a 3-pointer with 56.5 seconds to go for a 118-114 lead.

''It's an amazing feeling,'' he said.

With Markkanen and Portis sitting out the fourth, Robin Lopez not playing at all and Kris Dunn (sprained right toe), Zach LaVine (left knee tendinitis) and Denzel Valentine (left knee) out with injuries, the Bulls closed with a group of mostly young and unproven players.

''You want your guys to go out and compete at the highest level and we're doing that across the board right now,'' Hoiberg said. ''We've got so many young guys and they're still learning their way in this league. They want to compete.''

TIP-INS

Hornets: F Nicolas Batum (left Achilles tendon soreness) was a surprise addition to the starting lineup. ''Earlier in the morning, he was going to not play,'' Clifford said. ''Then it felt a lot better at shootaround.'' Batum finished with 11 points in 28 minutes . G/F Dwayne Bacon (sprained right ankle) and G/F Treveon Graham (concussion protocol) each missed a second straight game.

Bulls: Valentine was scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove loose debris on Wednesday morning and will miss the final week of the season. ''I'll be able to walk out of the hospital,'' he said. ''I had the same thing done in college when I was a senior and I was back playing in two weeks.'' . F Noah Vonleh suffered a strained left calf in the first half and did not return.

FAST START

The Bulls signed Kilpatrick, a journeyman in his third season, a week ago and he's scored in double figures in four of the five games he's played. He credits his teammates for helping him adjust.

''It's probably one of the closest teams I've been on,'' he said. ''I think that's something that's real exciting about this group.''

STRONG FINISH

If not for Kilpatrick, Monk might have been the star of the game. He got hot and tried to spark the Hornets.

''We just started attacking more, being more aggressive on defense and on offense,'' the rookie from Kentucky said. ''I made a couple plays. We just came up short.''

UP NEXT

Hornets: Visit Orlando on Friday night.

Bulls: Visit the Boston on Friday night.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
K. Walker
15 PG
L. Markkanen
24 PF
30.1 Min. Per Game 30.1
15.0 Pts. Per Game 15.0
1.1 Ast. Per Game 1.1
7.5 Reb. Per Game 7.5
43.1 Field Goal % 43.3
43.0 Three Point % 43.4
86.1 Free Throw % 85.2
  Defensive rebound by David Nwaba 0:02
  Malik Monk missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:05
+ 1 Jerian Grant made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:07
+ 1 Jerian Grant made 1st of 2 free throws 0:07
  Personal foul on Malik Monk 0:07
  Personal foul on Frank Kaminsky 0:09
  Defensive rebound by Cristiano Felicio 0:09
  Nicolas Batum missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:11
  Defensive rebound by Dwight Howard 0:16
  Sean Kilpatrick missed driving layup 0:16
  Defensive rebound by Ryan Arcidiacono 0:35
Team Stats
Points 114 120
Field Goals 40-81 (49.4%) 46-99 (46.5%)
3-Pointers 13-34 (38.2%) 15-34 (44.1%)
Free Throws 21-28 (75.0%) 13-18 (72.2%)
Total Rebounds 56 50
Offensive 10 11
Defensive 39 33
Team 7 6
Assists 24 26
Steals 3 9
Blocks 4 4
Turnovers 20 7
Fouls 16 20
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 17 REB, 3 AST
24 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST
1234T
away team logo Hornets 34-45 22253235114
home team logo Bulls 27-51 19343334120
Team Stats
away team logo Hornets 34-45 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Bulls 27-51 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
D. Howard C PPG RPG APG FG%
L. Markkanen PF 15.2 PPG 7.5 RPG 1.2 APG 43.4 FG%
Top Scorers
D. Howard C 23 PTS 17 REB 3 AST
L. Markkanen PF 24 PTS 7 REB 1 AST
49.4 FG% 46.5
38.2 3PT FG% 44.1
75.0 FT% 72.2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Howard 32 23 17 3 0 2 3 1 7/11 0/0 9/13 5 12 45 -8
M. Williams 27 18 8 4 0 1 0 2 6/8 4/6 2/2 2 6 35 -8
N. Batum 27 11 4 5 0 0 1 0 2/9 1/6 6/7 1 3 24 -13
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 26 10 3 2 0 0 3 2 5/9 0/0 0/1 1 2 14 -8
K. Walker 30 9 1 4 0 0 2 0 4/11 1/6 0/1 0 1 16 -11
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Howard 32 23 17 3 0 2 3 1 7/11 0/0 9/13 5 12 45 -8
M. Williams 27 18 8 4 0 1 0 2 6/8 4/6 2/2 2 6 35 -8
N. Batum 27 11 4 5 0 0 1 0 2/9 1/6 6/7 1 3 24 -13
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 26 10 3 2 0 0 3 2 5/9 0/0 0/1 1 2 14 -8
K. Walker 30 9 1 4 0 0 2 0 4/11 1/6 0/1 0 1 16 -11
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Monk 24 21 2 2 1 1 4 3 8/15 5/10 0/0 0 2 25 +1
W. Hernangomez 15 11 8 1 1 0 1 1 4/7 1/1 2/2 1 7 21 +2
J. Lamb 20 6 2 1 1 0 3 2 3/6 0/1 0/0 0 2 8 +10
J. Stone 15 3 3 1 0 0 2 1 1/2 1/2 0/0 0 3 6 +3
F. Kaminsky 19 2 1 1 0 0 1 4 0/3 0/2 2/2 0 1 4 +2
M. Paige - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Mathiang - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Carter-Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Zeller - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Graham - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Bacon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 114 49 24 3 4 20 16 40/81 13/34 21/28 10 39 198 -30
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Markkanen 24 24 7 1 0 1 0 2 8/14 5/6 3/3 1 6 34 +4
J. Holiday 27 19 1 3 3 0 1 4 7/16 4/9 1/1 0 1 28 +3
D. Nwaba 31 10 9 5 1 0 1 3 5/9 0/0 0/0 2 7 29 +10
C. Payne 24 8 4 7 0 0 0 0 4/13 0/4 0/0 3 1 26 +10
C. Felicio 25 8 8 2 1 0 1 4 4/5 0/0 0/0 2 6 20 +10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Markkanen 24 24 7 1 0 1 0 2 8/14 5/6 3/3 1 6 34 +4
J. Holiday 27 19 1 3 3 0 1 4 7/16 4/9 1/1 0 1 28 +3
D. Nwaba 31 10 9 5 1 0 1 3 5/9 0/0 0/0 2 7 29 +10
C. Payne 24 8 4 7 0 0 0 0 4/13 0/4 0/0 3 1 26 +10
C. Felicio 25 8 8 2 1 0 1 4 4/5 0/0 0/0 2 6 20 +10
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Kilpatrick 28 21 0 3 0 2 0 3 7/17 3/6 4/5 0 0 29 -6
B. Portis 22 16 6 1 0 1 1 2 7/13 2/4 0/0 2 4 24 -4
J. Grant 24 13 2 1 2 0 1 2 4/8 1/4 4/5 0 2 18 +3
R. Arcidiacono 23 1 4 3 2 0 2 0 0/2 0/0 1/2 1 3 11 -4
N. Vonleh 7 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0/2 0/1 0/2 0 3 3 +4
O. Asik - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Lopez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Valentine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Dunn - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. LaVine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Eddie - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Blakeney - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Zipser - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 120 44 26 9 4 7 20 46/99 15/34 13/18 11 33 222 +30