Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Zach LaVine scored a game-high 32 points Monday night to lead five players in double figures as the shorthanded Chicago Bulls (17-8) made it five wins in their last six games, stopping the visiting Denver Nuggets (11-12) 109-97 (18-27, 28-22, 31-22, 32-26).

Player of the Game
Zach  LaVine
EFF
27
Zach LaVine
Points 32
Accuracy 13-23
Rebounds 3
Assists 8

LaVine canned 13 of 23 field goal attempts and dished out eight assists as the Bulls made up for the absence of Demar DeRozan, who before the game was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols. DeRozan is fourth in the league in scoring at 26.4 points per game.

But Chicago didn't need him on this night as it got others to pick up the slack. Nikola Vucevic and Lonzo Ball each added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Derrick Jones tallied 12 points and rookie Ayo Dosunmu hit for 11 in his first NBA start.

Nikola Jokic supplied a triple-double of 17 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds for Denver, although he made only 6 of 17 shots from the field. Will Barton and Monte Morris each scored 19 points, while Aaron Gordon added 18 and Jeff Green chipped in 14.

Denver got off to a strong start by using the 3-point line efficiently. While neither team shot the ball well in the first quarter, the Nuggets were at least able to can 5 of 10 3-pointers, enabling them to take a 27-18 advantage to the second period.

Chicago wasted little time putting its stamp on the game's remainder, starting with the first nine points of the second quarter. LaVine even gave it a couple of brief leads before Denver answered back. A pair of free throws by Jokic with 4.7 seconds left made it 49-46 Nuggets at halftime.

The Bulls took charge in the third quarter. LaVine drilled a 3-pointer at the 3:57 mark to put them ahead for good at 63-61. A Matt Thomas 3-pointer later upped the margin to nine before Gordon beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to cut Chicago's lead to 77-71.

Nikola Jokic's highlights:

Full game highlights:

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2022-01-10
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Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets
45%
41/91
Field goals
39%
38/97
60
Rebounds
60
25
Assists
30
4
Steals
5
15
Fouls
17
11
Turnovers
11

Best players

Zach  LaVine
32 PTS
13/23 FG
3/4 FT
Will  Barton
19 PTS
8/20 FG
0/0 FT
Chicago Bulls
Few players
10 REB
Jeff  Green
13 REB
11 DREB
2 OREB
Chicago Bulls
Few players
8 As
Nikola  Jokic
15 As
3 TO
36 MIN
Zach  LaVine
27 EFF
71% 2P%
33% 3P%
Nikola  Jokic
28 EFF
42% 2P%
20% 3P%