White's clutch 3s lead Bulls to another surprising win at Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE - The Bulls tried to take out the top two teams in the East in a span of three days, something they never did last season.

Behind 36 points from DeMar DeRozan, some smart passes and clutch 3s in the final 75 seconds, the Bulls got it done, beating Milwaukee 118-113 on Wednesday at Fiserv Forum.

Last year during the regular season, the Bulls went 1-14 against the top four teams in the East. They were riding a four-game losing streak until Monday, when they cruised to an impressive home win over Boston, which had won nine in a row.

"It means a lot, back-to-back really good wins, we played this team in the playoffs," Zach LaVine said. "It shows we can play against anybody and we can beat anybody. But we have to have the same mindset each and every game. Hopefully we can start taking these wins and stacking them up."

Coby White hit consecutive corner 3-pointers to tie the score and take the lead. The second, off a pass from DeRozan, put the Bulls up by 3 with 46.1 seconds left. After White's tying 3, Alex Caruso drew a charge against Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"My teammates made the right play," said White, who played in his third game since recovering from a quad bruise. "I was open and they found me, so there wasn't really anything special. I was open, finally I knocked down a couple shots."

Following the second 3, the Bucks tried to throw an inbounds lob to Antetokounmpo, but Jrue Holiday sailed the pass too high and it landed out of bounds for another turnover. On the other end, DeRozan faced another double team and found Nikola Vucevic, who buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it a 6-point lead with 20.6 seconds left.

The was the Bulls' first regular-season win in Milwaukee since Dec. 26, 2017, which happened during the surprising surge led by current Buck Bobby Portis, along with Nikola Mirotic and Kris Dunn. The Bulls did win at Fiserv Forum during last spring's playoff series.

The expectations for this team are different, but the Bulls (8-10) delivered a surprising turnaround by beating Boston and Milwaukee after four straight rough losses.

"If you don't respond that way, you're going to get your (butt) kicked, especially with these really good teams," LaVine said. "I think we responded the right way. Maybe that's the jump start we needed, especially going on this road trip. It's going to be us on the road, us against everybody, and sometimes that's all you need."

With White in the final year of his rookie contract, the Bulls hoped he'd show some improvement. Late in this game, he was out there to space the floor.

"I just trust my work," White said. "It hasn't been the ideal start to the season for me, getting hurt and being out of the rotation. I got an opportunity tonight and I was just trying to leave an imprint on the game, whether that was bring it defensively or offensively."

After seeing his work in practice for so long, his teammates haven't lost faith in White's outside touch.

"He's been doing that his whole career," LaVine said. "He stays ready, he's confident, he's not scared to take or miss any shot, that's what I've always respected about him."

The Bulls have been trying to play catch-up in the popular NBA strategy of firing away from long range. The Bucks had the hot hand early and jumped to a 16-7 lead. But the Bulls heated up and by halftime were 12-for-23 from 3-point range. They finished 18-for-42, staying undefeated when they shoot better than 40% from 3.

Bulls guard Goran Dragic was sidelined Wednesday in Milwaukee, still feeling the effects of a shoulder stinger suffered two days earlier against Boston.

Coach Billy Donovan said Dragic was still feeling some numbness in his hand after getting a stinger in his shoulder on Monday, but they're hoping he'll be OK by Friday, when the six-game road trip continues in Oklahoma City.

Milwaukee was without forward Khris Middleton, who has yet to play this season due to a wrist injury.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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