Zach Lavine scored a career-high 49 points, while hitting a Chicago Bulls franchise record 13 three-pointers that included a game-winner in a 116-115 road win against the Charlotte Hornets. With the Bulls down two points in the final seconds, Lavine stole an inbounds pass from the Hornets, ran to the three-point line, and drilled his 13th three-pointer and the game-winner. Seven of Lavine’s 13 three-pointers came in the fourth quarter.
The career performance comes a night after Lavine was benched by head coach Jim Boylen. Lavine went three straight games without scoring over 15 points, which led to the eventual benching. Over the course of this season, Lavine is shooting an inconsistent 42.9% as the Bulls premier scoring option.
Against the Hornets, Lavine shot 13-for-17 from the three-point line and 17-for-28 from the field. Lavine joins Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as the only three players to make 13 or more three-pointers in a game. Thompson currently holds the record with 14.
Lavine enjoyed breakout success last season, scoring a career-high 23.7 points per game on 18.0 field-goal attempts per game. Throughout the course of his career, Lavine has struggled with being an efficient scorer, with a career average of 44.5% from the field. He has quietly become a competent three-point shooter, averaging at least five attempts a game the past four seasons and shooting above 37% in three of those four seasons.
If Lavine can put his scoring together, he could be a 50-40-80 guy. Although his overall scoring and effectiveness is down from last season, his value on the court is still felt, after all, he is only 24-years old. Look at players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, who are having stellar seasons. Some players just take longer to mature and find their way in the league. Maybe this game is Lavine’s coming out party.