Anthony Davis regains his rhythm as New Orleans ends skid vs. Chicago Bulls

 
 
Updated 11/7/2018 10:26 PM
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  • New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over Chicago Bulls forward Wendell Carter Jr. (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. The Pelicans won 107-98.

    New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over Chicago Bulls forward Wendell Carter Jr. (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. The Pelicans won 107-98.

The New Orleans Pelicans had been sinking into the bayou lately, but this turned out to be a bad night for the Chicago Bulls to show up.

Anthony Davis regained his touch after missing three games with an elbow injury, and with their depleted lineup the Bulls had little chance of stopping him.

Davis finished with 32 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 blocks as New Orleans snapped a six-game losing streak with a 107-98 victory over the Bulls. This was Davis' third game back, but the first time he put up his usual monster numbers.

"He's an unbelievable player," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said of Davis. "And we knew they'd come out and play after losing six straight, the last five on the road. We knew they were going to come out with fire, and they did."

Davis left the floor with 18 seconds left in the third quarter after being accidentally elbowed in the face by teammate Julius Randle. Davis eventually came back, but the Bulls were able to build some momentum and trimmed a 17-point deficit down to 6 on two occasions.

Trailing 98-92, the Bulls got 3 shots on one possession, but Zach LaVine missed a jumper, Jabari Parker was blocked near the rim and Justin Holiday missed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. Holiday's brother Jrue hit a running bank shot on the other end, sending New Orleans up by 8 with 2:15 left and the Bulls would get no closer.

LaVine led the Bulls with 22 points, recording his 12th straight 20-point game to begin the season. Parker produced his first double-double as a Bull, with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. couldn't match Davis but held his own with 17 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks. Holiday matched his brother with 17 points.

The Bulls could have used a little more scoring off the bench. Ryan Arcidiacono had a nice night with 11 points, hitting 3 of 4 shots from long range. But Antonio Blakeney hit just 3 of 11 shots, while rookie forward Chandler Hutchison had 1 point.

After the game, Hoiberg lamented the first-half defense. The Bulls trailed 58-50 at intermission.

"I thought our energy in the second half was where it needed to be the full game," Hoiberg told reporters after the contest. "I thought we came out of the gate and let them set the tone.

"I didn't think we had the physicality or the grit in that first quarter and they ended up scoring 58 in that first half. The second half we held them to 49 and had a little fire out there. For us, that's got to be a constant for 48 minutes."

Former Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic matched Davis with 15 rebounds but hit just 1 of 8 shots from 3-point range and scored 9 points.

The Bulls (3-9) now get two days off for the first time since the regular season began Oct. 18, before hosting Cleveland on Saturday.

"We've got a lot of work to do and we're going to get an opportunity to practice for the first time darn near since training camp," Hoiberg said. "The first full, taped, hard, physical practice, so I'm looking forward to that on Friday."

Before the game, the Bulls announced that guard Denzel Valentine experienced a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury and is now out indefinitely. Valentine had been ramping up his activity and was thought to be about a week away from returning.

Valentine said the injury first occurred during a preseason workout in early September and he missed all of training camp because the ankle wasn't fully healed.

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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