The Chicago Bulls’ best players finally showed out in the same game.
Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen finally hit 20 points in the same game for the first time season, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. It took 21 games, but it was good enough to snap Chicago’s three-game losing skid with an impressive road victory over the Sacramento Kings, 113-106.
LaVine top-scored for the Bulls with 28 points to go along with three assists and five three-pointers. Meanwhile, Markkanen posted 20 points, seven rebounds, and four three-pointers.
The high-flying shooting guard spoke highly of his Finnish teammate after the game and believes that they can be a great one-two punch.
Markkanen has been struggling mightily in his third NBA season. For the season, the 22-year old stretch big is averaging just 13.6 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting a horrendous 35.7 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from beyond the arc.
LaVine, on the other hand, is having also having down season compared to last year. He putting up nightly numbers of 22.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.9 assists, while shooting 43.5 percent from the field.
Chicago almost blew their big lead – which ballooned to as high as 19 points in the third quarter – with Sacramento cutting down the lead to two with a little over two minutes remaining in the game.
Fortunately for the Bulls, both LaVine and Markkanen came up big for them down the stretch. Markkanen knocked down four crucial freethrows to keep the Kings at bay. LaVine drilled the game-clinching three-pointer with 1:15 remaining in the fourth to extend their lead to seven.
It’s kind of amazing, yet baffling that it actually took nearly a quarter of the season for a team’s two best players to score 20 points each in the same outing. Chicago fans certainly hope this is just the first of many such games for LaVine and Markkanen.