NBA: LaVine leaves it late to lift Bulls past Magic; Curry and Warriors clobber Suns while Jazz are on a roll

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (left) scores in front of Orlando Magic guard Shelvin Mack (right) in the second half of the NBA basketball game between the Orlando Magic and the Chicago Bulls at the United Centre in Chicago on Feb 12, 2018.
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (left) scores in front of Orlando Magic guard Shelvin Mack (right) in the second half of the NBA basketball game between the Orlando Magic and the Chicago Bulls at the United Centre in Chicago on Feb 12, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES (AFP, REUTERS) - Zach LaVine's scored 18 points but his biggest contributions came late in the National Basketball Association (NBA) game as the Chicago Bulls eased past the Orlando Magic 105-101 on Monday (Feb 12) night.

He busted loose for a thunderous go-ahead dunk to break a 101-101 tie, then iced the win with two free throws for the Bulls, who won despite blowing an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Lauri Markkanen delivered 21 points, as Chicago won their second straight after losing seven in a row.

LaVine stole Jonathon Simmons' inbounds pass with 15 seconds left and finished with a slam. He added the free throws after Mario Hezonja missed a three-pointer.

"I was trying to be aggressive on the inbounds," LaVine said. "I wasn't trying to obviously go for a steal and be able to get out of position, but it opened up like it did.

"I embrace it. You have to get it done. Everybody wants to have the ball in their hands at the end of games. But you have to have the confidence and the ability to do it. And I think I do."

Bobby Portis added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Jerian Grant had 14 points and seven assists in the win.

Hezonja led Orlando with 24 points, and Evan Fournier scored 22.

The Bulls appeared to be headed to victory after going on an 11-0 run that gave them a 93-75 lead with eight minutes remaining.

But the Magic didn't give up as Hezonja nailed a three-pointer with just over three minutes left in regulation to give them a two point, 98-96, lead.

Portis later tied it 101-101 by hitting a shot from beyond the arc with 2:29 left, setting the stage for LaVine's final-minute heroics.

In Oakland, California, Stephen Curry scored 10 of his team-high 22 points in the second quarter on Monday night, helping the Golden State Warriors overcome an early deficit en route to a 129-83 blowout of the Phoenix Suns.

The Warriors' third consecutive win to close a four-game homestand came despite a second straight impressive performance by the Suns' Elfrid Payton, who led all scorers with 29 points.

Payton, acquired from the Orlando Magic for just a second-round pick last week, hit 11 of his 18 shots and also had eight rebounds and a team-high five assists in 31 minutes.

However, the Suns lost for the sixth consecutive time on a night when they were formally eliminated from the Pacific Division title race.

Kevin Durant had 17 points and Klay Thompson 16 for the Warriors, who beat Phoenix for the 12th straight time, their longest active streak against any opponent. It was the clubs' first meeting this season.

The Warriors played without Draymond Green, out due to a sprained left index finger. His replacement, Omri Casspi, recorded a 19-point, game-high 10-rebound double-double, and Nick Young added 16 points.

Golden State shot 58.4 per cent from the field in a match-up of the league's highest-scoring team and the most porous defensive squad. The NBA champions won for the 25th consecutive time this season when scoring 120 or more points.

In Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell hit the go-ahead pull-up jumper with 39 seconds left, as the Utah Jazz stretched their league-best winning streak to 10 games with a 101-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Mitchell, who finished with 25 points, hit a pair of go-ahead baskets and a free throw to give the Jazz the lead in the final minute.

Joe Ingles finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Jazz, who had to rally from a 13-point deficit in the fourth. Derrick Favors tallied 19 points and eight rebounds.

Pau Gasol scored 15 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Kyle Anderson delivered 16 points and for the Spurs, who lost to Utah for the third time this season.

Elsewhere, Anthony Davis finished with 38 points and 10 rebounds, Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic each scored 21, and the New Orleans Pelicans stopped the Detroit Pistons 118-103.