The Associated PressDALLAS (AP) — Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday and the Chicago Bulls kept making free throws in the final minute. Somehow, the Dallas Mavericks kept getting closer.
Only after Yogi Ferrell’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short could the Bulls finally celebrate a 47-point fourth quarter Friday night and a frantic 127-124 victory over the Mavericks after leading by 10 with 68 seconds to go.
Dunn scored a career-high 32 points and Holiday added 23 for the Bulls, who made all 13 free throws in the final 1:08 but still gave Dallas a chance because the Mavericks had three-point possessions four times while pressing full court and fouling after every bucket.
A turnover helped also as the teams combined for 35 points in that final sequence. The Mavericks allowed a franchise record in points for any quarter.
“When you have a 10-point lead with about a minute to go, you’ve got to find a way to get a couple of stops,” said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, whose team started the fourth with a 10-0 run. “But it’s a really good win coming down here against a team that’s been really hot, rolling.”
Nobody figured to be saying that about either team a month into the season. But it was a fittingly close game for teams having remarkably similar seasons — almost the same record after miserable starts followed by respectable recoveries that pulled each out of last in its conference.
The Bulls (14-25) were 3-20 before a seven-game winning streak that sparked an 11-5 record since the woeful start.
The Mavericks (13-27), who started 2-14, just had their best winning streak of the season stopped at four by Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer in the final seconds of Golden State’s 125-122 victory in Dallas. Oh, and the Mavericks were down 12 with 4½ minutes left in that loss.
“We are falling into some bad habits playing these windshield-wiper games,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “We just need to take a hard look at it.”
Dr. J falls ill during game
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hall of Famer Julius Erving fell ill at the Philadelphia 76ers’ game Friday night and was taken to a hospital.There was no immediate update on his condition.
“Philadelphia 76ers legend Julius Erving fell ill at tonight’s game and was taken to a local hospital, where he is currently being evaluated. He is expected to be released after the evaluation,” said a statement on behalf of Erving’s management team and the Sixers.
Erving, 67, attended the game and rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell before tipoff. The dunker more commonly known as “Dr. J” was honored by the team to mark 35 years since he threw down his famous cradle dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers.