NBA playoffs

DeMar DeRozan puts up 41 as Bulls pull even with Bucks

DeMar DeRozan puts up 41 as Bulls pull even with Bucks

BIG NIGHT. Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan dribbles past Bucks guard Wesley Matthews.

Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Bulls knot the series against the Bucks even after a record night from Giannis Antetokounmpo

DeMar DeRozan scored a postseason career-high 41 points as the visiting Chicago Bulls earned a 114-110 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series on Wednesday night, April 20 (Thursday, April 21, Manila time).

The best-of-seven series is tied 1-1 heading to Game 3 in Chicago on Friday.

DeRozan sank 16 of his 31 field-goal attempts and all nine of his free-throw attempts. He also made a critical layup with 18.2 seconds left to play after Milwaukee had trimmed a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit to three.

Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 33 points, 18 rebounds, and 9 assists on 11-of-20 shooting. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the Bucks’ all-time playoff scoring leader.

Nikola Vucevic supplied 24 points and 13 rebounds while Zach LaVine chipped in 20 points for Chicago.

Brook Lopez went for 25 points, Khris Middleton tallied 18 points and 8 assists, Jrue Holiday contributed 15 points, and Wesley Matthews had 11 as all five Milwaukee starters scored in double figures.

Chicago opened up an 18-point lead in the third, but Milwaukee trailed by just seven heading into the fourth. Antetokounmpo and Middleton combined for 25 of Milwaukee’s 31 points in the third period.

The Bulls opened the final frame on a 9-0 run. Although the Bucks nearly came back, Chicago never surrendered the lead after the first quarter.

A 17-7 run over the last 4:54 of the second quarter sent the Bulls into the break with 63-49 lead. Chicago was able to build the margin thanks in part to its efficient three-point shooting, as it went 8-for-14 (57.1%) from beyond the arc.

DeRozan led all scorers with 17 first-half points, while LaVine added 14.

Antetokounmpo put up 14 points and Lopez had 13 as the only Bucks to score in double figures through the first 24 minutes of action. The hosts hit half of their 14 three-point attempts before intermission.

Milwaukee’s 10 first-half turnovers proved to be costly, as they translated into 13 points for the Bulls. Overall, the Bucks gave the ball away 15 times while Chicago had 13 giveaways.

Both teams shot 50% from the field in the first quarter. Chicago jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes but wound up leading just 29-28 heading into the second. –