LaVine scores 39, carries Bulls over Sixers

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Zach LaVine
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) scores game winning points against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at United Center. -- KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES — Zach LaVine’s driving layup with 1.6 seconds left in the game lifted the Chicago Bulls to a 108-107 win over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Philadelphia had a chance to win after LaVine missed a free throw, but a lob into the paint intended for Jimmy Butler was way off the mark as the buzzer sounded.

Players walked off the floor, but the officials convened and determined that Robin Lopez did not tip the ball and the clock erroneously started, giving Philadelphia a second chance.

Ben Simmons’ inbound pass to Butler was fumbled, and the Bulls finally earned the win to snap a two-game losing skid.

Butler made two free throws with 4.8 seconds left to give the 76ers a 107-106 lead. Chicago called timeout, and LaVine drove the lane practically uncontested to score the winning basket after a defensive switch gone wrong. He was fouled by Mike Scott but missed the free throw.

LaVine finished with 39 points on 14-of-26 shooting from the field. He scored 24 of his points in the second half.

Lopez recorded 19 points and nine rebounds. Otto Porter Jr. finished with 15 points and nine boards.

Butler scored 22 points to lead five Philadelphia players in double figures. Simmons, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, compiled 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

The Sixers were playing without Joel Embiid, who missed his seventh straight game because of knee soreness. He could return on Friday when Philadelphia faces the Rockets in Houston.

The Sixers led 86-82 heading into the fourth quarter and opened a 10-point lead on two free throws by Simmons with 6:01 remaining.

The Bulls fought back and tied the game on a 24-foot 3-pointer by Porter with 2:44 left. The Sixers maintained the lead until Lopez’s free throw with 17.1 seconds left gave the Bulls a 106-105 lead.

Gordon Hayward avenged a critical foul 5.6 seconds earlier with a tie-breaking jumper with two seconds remaining Wednesday night, giving the Boston Celtics a 111-109 victory over the host Sacramento Kings.

Al Horford recorded a double-double with 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds while also finding time for a team-high seven assists as the Celtics completed a back-to-back sweep in Northern California after shellacking the Golden State Warriors 128-95 on Tuesday night.

Harrison Barnes had a game-high 24 points for the Kings, who wrapped up a 1-3 homestand.

Hayward’s hoop occurred after the Kings had rallied from a late six-point deficit to gain a 109-all tie on three free throws by Buddy Hield with 7.6 seconds left.

The foul shots were the result of a foul called on Hayward while attempting to defend the potential game-tying shot.

Without calling a timeout, the Celtics rushed the ball up the court, and Hayward nailed a nine-footer for the winner.

After a timeout that allowed them to advance the ball, the Kings took a shot at a win, but Barnes’ 30-footer with two-tenths of a second remaining was off the mark.

Both teams were without a key player.

Celtics All-Star Kyrie Irving sat out with a bruised left thigh one night after having 19 points and 11 assists in Boston’s romp at Golden State.

Meanwhile, Kings standout rookie Marvin Bagley III missed his third consecutive game with a sprained left knee.

After a 3-pointer by Jayson Tatum had put the Celtics ahead 91-88, the visitors went on to lead by as many as six on a 3-pointer by Marcus Morris with 3:14 to go.

The Kings rallied, getting two hoops from De’Aaron Fox and a 3-pointer from Hield with 1:10 remaining to close within 105-104.

Tatum and Willie Cauley-Stein then exchanged hoops before Tatum’s two free throws with 15.5 seconds left put the Celtics up 109-106.

Hield’s three game-tying free throws came on Sacramento’s next possession.

Tatum scored 24 points to lead the Celtics, who had lost five of six before heading west this week.

Morris had 19 points, Terry Rozier 16, Hayward 12 and Jaylen Brown 10 for Boston, which swept a road/road back-to-back for the first time in four tries this season.

Hield finished with 23 points for the Kings, who have lost four of five as they pursue a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Fox complemented 16 points with seven assists for Sacramento, while Cauley-Stein had 19 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic 14.

The Celtics outshot the Kings 50.6 percent to 50.0. Both teams made 13 3-pointers.

Sacramento led by as many as nine points and Boston by as many as 10 in the first three quarters, which ended with the Celtics holding an 82-77 lead. — Reuters