Coby White scores 22 points, Bulls pull away to beat Spurs 114-95

Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan (11) blocks a shot by San Antonio Spurs' Keldon Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) (Charles Rex Arbogast, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

CHICAGOVictor Wembanyama got to take slap shots and trade signed jerseys with the Chicago Blackhawks' Connor Bedard, a memorable meeting between the No. 1 draft picks in the NBA and NHL on Thursday.

As for the rest of the night? Wembanyama would probably just as soon forget that.

Recommended Videos

Coby White scored 22 points and the Chicago Bulls beat San Antonio 114-95 on Thursday night for the Spurs' 21st loss in 22 games.

Wembanyama finished with a season-low seven points and five rebounds after setting an NBA record for a teenager with eight straight double-doubles. The 7-foot-3 French phenom did not score in the first half and made just 3 of 8 shots in the game while playing 22 minutes, after missing a blowout loss Tuesday night at Milwaukee because of a sore right ankle.

“My ankle is fine, I don't feel it at all," he said. “There are some games like that.”

But getting to meet Bedard was something different.

“That was great,” Wembanyama said. “A great experience. It's not often at all, even almost never, that I get to meet people so great and that have also so many similarities with myself. It was a great experience.”

White had 12 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls break open the game.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 21 points after scoring 27 the previous night in a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Patrick Williams added 18, and Nikola Vucevic had 16 to help the Bulls win for the eighth time in 11 games — all with Zach LaVine sidelined because of inflammation in his right foot.

“We never gave up, we never let the life flow out of us or anything like that,” White said. “The guys in this locker room continuously believe in each other. We continuously speak positive energy into each other, and we care about each other and we want to win. That hasn't changed throughout the entire season.”

Devin Vassell led San Antonio with 21 points. But the Spurs lost their third in a row since stopping a franchise-record 18-game losing streak by beating the Los Angeles Lakers last week.

The Bulls made just 7 of 28 3-pointers, but they found the touch in the fourth, burying 5 of 6. White hit two in the quarter, including one that made it 90-75 with just under nine minutes remaining and capped a 15-5 run.

The Bulls led 75-70 before DeRozan started that spurt with a floater in the closing seconds of the third. Jevon Carter and Patrick Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the fourth, and the Bulls remained in control after White's 3 made it a 15-point game.

LaVine has been running straight ahead and shooting without jumping and will start ramping up activities more next week.

Coach Billy Donovan said he is “projecting in a positive way” and the Bulls will have a better handle on a potential return once they see how he responds to making sudden stops and cuts and starts jumping. Donovan said LaVine will have to get some practices in, though the team hasn't discussed if he will spend time with the G League's Windy City Bulls.

Meanwhile, veteran forward Torrey Craig said he expects to return sooner from his right foot injury than the minimum two-month time-frame the team announced. He has an acute sprain of his plantar fascia.

“It's been feeling better day by day,” he said. “I'm just going to keep doing the recovery and keep staying with the therapy to make sure I get back as strong as possible.”


Spurs: At Dallas on Saturday night.

Bulls: Host Cleveland on Saturday night. ___


Recommended Videos