White stays hot, Bulls end losing streak
One repeat performance and a redemption story were enough for the Bulls to snap their eight-game losing streak.
Rookie Coby White poured in a career-high 33 points for the second-straight night, while point guard Tomas Satoransky bounced back from a poor performance to record 13 assists against his former team, one short of his career-high.
Zach LaVine added 32 points and Thad Young had a season-high 25 as the Bulls held off Washington 126-117 on Sunday at the United Center. It was a good night for scorers, with Wizards guard Bradley Beal notching a career-high 53 points.
White appeared to be on his way to an even bigger night, scoring 13 points in both the first and second quarters. But he slowed down in the second half, finishing 5-for-9 from 3-point range.
White is the first Bulls rookie to record consecutive 30-point games since Michael Jordan did it on Apr. 5 and 6, 1985. He's the first rookie to score at least 30 off the bench in consecutive games since the NBA started tracking starters in 1970-71. White and Zion Williamson are the only two rookies to score consecutive 30-pointers this season.
"You see how explosive he is," LaVine said of White. "Trying to figure out some nicknames for him, either like 'propane' or 'gasoline' or something like that. I told him, 'Let's do it again next game.' Keep it going, don't put a cap on anything."
The back-to-back 33-point games have been a long time coming for White. He had a two-game, 3-point explosion in mid-November, but his previous season-high of 28 points happened way back on Nov. 23 at Charlotte.
White continued to come off the bench in a reserve role and was asked after both games this weekend if he wants to start.
"No, I feel like I'm in a good position," White said. "This year for me, it wasn't about starting and it wasn't about being this or that, it was about me getting better over the season. That's the main thing in this league. You just keep getting better. You don't want to be a guy that just stays the same the whole time."
On Saturday against Phoenix, Satoransky was having such a rough night, he was pulled from the game midway through the fourth quarter for Ryan Arcidiacono. Satoransky went scoreless against the Suns, missing all 8 of his shots. On Sunday against the Wizards, he scored 15 points and added 4 steals with the 13 assists.
"It was rough for me the whole game," Satoransky said. "I didn't score anything, I had some bad turnovers and I just wasn't in the game at all and I was frustrated with myself. It wasn't really about going back to the bench, because I wasn't really feeling myself there and I think coach felt like we will have a chance for other players. I was just frustrated overall."
LaVine had some rough moments himself. He piled up 9 turnovers on Sunday and 16 for the weekend. He had another 9-turnover game on Feb. 9 in Philadelphia.
"Sometimes making the wrong play, overly aggressive," LaVine said. "I had like four charges today, four offensive fouls. I'm more hard on myself for my turnover when we lose, obviously. If I had 20 turnovers today and we won, I could give a darn."
There was a milestone, though, for LaVine. He passed Ben Gordon for the franchise record for most 3-pointers in a season. LaVine now has 177 on the year.
"It's dope, man. It's two different eras, obviously," he said. "I feel like BG was an incredible 3-point shooter and it was an era where they didn't shoot as many 3s. It's a credit too, a lot of hard work I put into it."
Speaking of milestones, Beal moved past Jeff Malone into second place on the all-time Wizards-Bullets scoring list on Sunday, still trailing Elvin Hayes.
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