A little more than 24 hours after being benched early in the first quarter due to a few missed defensive assignments against the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine put on quite a show. He made 13 3-pointers, including the game-winner, and finished with 49 points in a 116-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday. LaVine joins Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as the only players in NBA history to make at least 13 3s in a game. Thompson set the record last season by making 14 3-pointers against LaVine’s own Chicago Bulls.
The game-winner concluded a wild sequence in which the Hornets saw a five-point lead evaporate over the span of 14.7 seconds. After two Devonte’ Graham free throws, Tomas Satoransky made a 3-pointer to cut the Hornets lead to 115-113. Then the Bulls stole the ensuing inbounds pass, which somehow ended up in LaVine’s hands, and he dribbled out to make an incredible fadeaway 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left.
Overall, LaVine shot 17-of-28 from the field and 13-of-17 from 3-point range. That’s the same percentage that Curry shot when he made 13 3s against the Pelicans in 2016, while Thompson went 14-for-24 against the Bulls last season. LaVine also scored 27 of his 49 points in the fourth quarter.
One of the most talented offensive players in the NBA, LaVine has occasionally faced questions about consistency and effort. Bulls coach Jim Boylen removed his starting shooting guard just minutes into the team’s 116-108 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday. LaVine said after the game that he disagreed with his coach’s assessment, but obviously he didn’t let it carry over into Saturday’s game.
Any time you can take your place alongside Curry and Thompson in the record books, you’re doing something right.