Spread the news: Markkanen leads Chicago Bulls to double overtime win in NYC

  • Chicago Bulls forward Denzel Valentine (45) drives to the basket as he get by New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack (55) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

    Chicago Bulls forward Denzel Valentine (45) drives to the basket as he get by New York Knicks guard Jarrett Jack (55) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Updated 1/10/2018 10:24 PM

New York City and Jyvaskyla, Finland might have something in common if you look hard enough.

New York has the bright lights of Broadway. Jyvaskyla presumably gets pretty bright when the Northern Lights are shining.


Either way, Finland native Lauri Markkanen doesn't shy away from the spotlight. In his first game at Madison Square Garden, Markkanen scored a career-high 33 points as the Bulls edged the New York Knicks 122-119 in double overtime Wednesday night.

Markkanen is the first Bulls player to produce at least 33 points and 10 rebounds at MSG since Michael Jordan did it in the 1989 playoffs.

Markkanen's night included 8 baskets from 3-point range on 15 attempts, and a great highlight dunk when he drove around ex-Bull Doug McDermott and threw down an emphatic one-hander over Enes Kanter.

"I darn near passed out when he dunked that one," Fred Hoiberg told reporters after the game. "That was unbelievable.

"Just to see attack in transition, he's shown an ability to rebound and push the ball down the floor. To rise up and do that, was just an exciting play."

Markkanen tied the Bulls' rookie record for made 3-pointers in a game. Chris Duhon went 8-for-9 from long range in a game at Atlanta in 2005. The NBA mark for 3-pointers by a rookie is 9, set by a couple of Dallas guards: Yogi Ferrell last year and Rodrique Beaubois in 2010.

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The Bulls usually try to limit Markkanen to 34 minutes per game, so this was easily his career high in minutes played with 46.

"Lauri, to come in on the big stage, the world's most famous arena, hit 8 threes and play against arguably as good a power forward as there is in this league in (Kristaps) Porzingis," Hoiberg said. "To play 46 minutes and then hit the big free throws late, just tells you everything you need to know about Lauri.

"He's just such a competitor and a guy who's going to come out and play the right way. Spectacular play after spectacular play tonight."

Denzel Valentine added 20 points, making his pitch to stay in the starting lineup when Zach LaVine returns Saturday. Robin Lopez also scored 20, Justin Holiday had 16 and David Nwaba 13. Porzingis scored 24 points, while Michael Beasley led the Knicks with 26 points.

The Bulls (15-27) took control with a 15-3 run midway through the fourth quarter, going from a 6-point deficit to a 98-92 lead after Markkanen's free throws with 5:45 left.


When Holiday followed in a Markkanen 3-point miss with 2:11 remaining, the Bulls led 105-101. But they didn't score again for the rest of the fourth quarter. The Bulls had the last shot with the score tied, but Kris Dunn missed a 12-foot turnaround.

They couldn't hold the lead in the first overtime, either. The Bulls went ahead 112-110 with 39.9 seconds left on a Lopez tip-in. Dunn missed a chance to seal the win and the Knicks ran a nice play, curling Porzingis around a double screen for a tying dunk as time expired.

The Bulls jumped to an early lead in the second extra session on a pair of dunks by Lopez. The Knicks tied it up before Dunn hit a driving bank shot with 58.2 seconds left that turned out to be the game-winner.

Porzingis missed a jumper with a chance to tie. Then after a Bulls turnover, Knicks guard Jarrett Jack threw an errant pass out of bounds, giving the Bulls possession with 18 seconds on the clock. Holiday and Markkanen each knocked down a pair of free throws and Jack missed a 3-pointer just before the final buzzer.

Nikola Mirotic missed his second straight game with a stomach virus. The Bulls brought most of the players' mothers along on this trip. Markkanen was one of the few whose mother couldn't make it.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls


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