MILWAUKEE — DeMar DeRozan had 36 points and eight assists, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118-113 Wednesday night.
Chicago started the week with a 6-10 record and after losing four straight games it has now beaten the top two teams in the NBA. The Bulls ended Boston’s nine-game winning streak on Monday.
“We had some bad moments, losing games in a row, dropping games that we felt we should have won. Our asses get whooping cough at home,” DeRozan said. “We’ve already gone through so many emotions in 20 games in the season. Sometimes that’s an advantage. You have to absorb this pain.”
Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic each scored 18 points for Chicago, and Coby White finished the tournament with 14 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks, who lost for only the second time in 11 home games this season. Brook Lopez scored 20 points and Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 11 assists.
The Bucks committed 20 turnovers that resulted in 17 points for the Bulls.
“They’re a really hands-on team and they’re packing the paint,” Holiday said.
Milwaukee led 109-106 before White made a 3-pointer to tie with 1:15 left. After Antetokounmpo was called to attack, White took a pass from DeRozan and buried another 3 to give the Bulls the lead to stay.
“My teammates trusted me,” White said. “I was just trying to help us win.”
The Bucks turned the ball around on subsequent possession and DeRozan found Vucevic, who conjured a 3 corner.
The Bucks had won 17 of their previous 19 games, including the playoffs, against their Central Division rivals.
“I’m happy with the way we started. Milwaukee is a great team. They are champions,” said Bulls coach Billy Donovan. “It’s a great benchmark, but it’s just a game.”
The team needs to focus on consistency, LaVine said.
“We can play anyone and we can beat anyone, but we have to have the same attitude in every game,” he said. “Hopefully we can start getting those wins and stacking them up.”
Antetokounmpo was limited to eight points on 4-of-11 shooting in the first half. He scored 11 points in the third quarter, but the Bulls held a seven-point lead en route to the fourth.
The Bulls built a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Bucks fought back to level it midway through the period.
Milwaukee led by as much as 12 points in the second quarter before Chicago rallied. Holiday’s summer-beating jumper gave the Bucks a 62-61 halftime advantage.
Bulls: Guard Goran Dragic had an MRI and sat down with a left cervical spike sustained in Monday’s game. The injury causes tingling and numbness in Dragic’s hand, Donovan said. … Donovan was called off for a technical foul while arguing during a time-out.
Bucks: Milwaukee played the second of four straight home games over a one-week period. … Wes Matthews returned after missing three straight games with a right hamstring strain.
LaVine was charged with a flagrant 1 foul after a review after he kicked George Hill while attempting a jump shot. The call sent LaVine to the bank with nasty problems.
“It was a good shot, but I hit him in the groin,” LaVine said. “Obviously I didn’t try. This is a normal fadeaway for me. I’m glad we won and it didn’t affect us.”
Bulls: On Friday in Oklahoma City.
Bucks: host Cleveland on Friday.