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NBA

DeRozan inspired Bulls knock off Lakers as Suns eclipse Hornets

DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls sit second in the Eastern Conference after beating the Lakers in the final minute.

Update:
Dec 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) goes to the basket against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil KrzaczynskiUSA TODAY Sports

DeMar DeRozan had 38 points as the Chicago Bulls rallied past LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers late in the fourth quarter on the way to a 115-110 victory. 

DeRozan hit a jumper with 52.6 seconds to play to give the Bulls the lead and added a pair of free throws with 15.6 seconds left to extend the margin as Chicago held on late. 

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Billy Donovan of the Chicago Bulls has a few words with DeMar DeRozan #11 in the final seconds of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center on December 19, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Billy Donovan of the Chicago Bulls has a few words with DeMar DeRozan #11 in the final seconds of a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center on December 19, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.JONATHAN DANIELAFP

Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington missed game-tying three-point attempts after that before Lonzo Ball iced the win with two more free throws. 

Ball had 19 points and Nikola Vucevic added 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls (18-10), who have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Brooklyn Nets (21-9). 

James led the Lakers with 31 points and 14 rebounds but made just one of seven shots from three-point range. Anthony had 21 points and Russell Westbrook finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Los Angeles (16-15).

Suns rip Hornets, hold NBA's best record

The Phoenix Suns (24-5) can now claim the best record in the NBA after a 137-106 demolition of the Charlotte Hornets as Devin Booker returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a hamstring injury. Booker had 16 points and was one of nine Suns to reach double figures as Phoenix led 37-15 after the first quarter and did not let up, making 20 of 41 three-point attempts to 10 of 45 from beyond the arc for Charlotte (16-16).

Damian Lillard scored 32 points as the Portland Trail Blazers (13-18) picked up a 105-100 road win against the Memphis Grizzlies (19-12). The Grizzlies had won five in a row and 10 of 11 but shot only 38.5 per cent from the field Sunday as they squandered a career-best 37-point night from Dillon Brooks. 

Dec 19, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles as Memphis Grizzles center Steven Adams (4) defends during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dec 19, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles as Memphis Grizzles center Steven Adams (4) defends during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY SportsPetre ThomasUSA TODAY Sports

Lowry, Heat fall to lowly Pistons

The Miami Heat had won four out of five games entering Sunday but everything fell apart in a 100-90 loss to the Detroit Pistons, who had lost a franchise record-tying 14 in a row. Kyle Lowry made just three shots from the field in 42 minutes for the Heat (18-13), though he finished with 19 points as he went 11-of-16 at the free-throw line. Saddiq Bey had 26 point to lead the Pistons (5-24), who recorded their first victory since beating the Indiana Pacers on November 17. 

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