Billy Donovan says the Chicago Bulls' "margin for error is not great" after losing for a fourth straight game in the absence of several key players.

Without the likes of Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso, the Bulls were beaten 119-106 by the in-form Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Despite losing to the Grizzlies, the Boston Celtics, the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets in successive games, Chicago are top of the Eastern Conference.

The Nets are now 27-15 for the season and have allowed an average of 127 points across those past four defeats, following a run of 14 wins from their previous 17.

And after committing 18 turnovers in an error-strewn performance against the Grizzlies, Donovan accepts an improvement is required.

"For us right now, our margin for error is not great," he said. "Turnovers here, offensive rebound, a couple easy transition points – we're going to have to eliminate those things.

"We've got to be really meticulous and good at taking care of the ball, defensive rebounding and getting back."

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 24 points on 10 of 24 shooting, on top of his five assists, while Coby White finished with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

While the shorthanded Bulls are going through a rough patch, White believes there could be long-term gains for his side.

"I feel like this is a chance for us to grow," he said. "We're getting the opportunity now.

"I feel like we're just taking it day-by-day and trying to just grow and develop and get better for the team."

The Grizzlies have won 12 of their last 13 games and are third in the West ahead of a four-game road trip that begins against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

"I thought our guys came out ready," Memphis interim coach Darko Rajakovic said. 

"I thought we did a really good job defensively. To be honest with you, I thought we were supposed to score even more. 

"We missed a couple of chippies, a couple of open looks that we usually make."

Coby White felt the Chicago Bulls had been due a good shooting night after he and Zach LaVine made NBA history against the New Orleans Pelicans.

In the Bulls' 129-116 success against the Pelicans on Wednesday, White and LaVine became the first team-mates in NBA history to each make at least eight three-pointers in the same game.

The pair combined for 76 points, the third time they have accumulated at least 75 together – only Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen have achieved that on more occasions (six) for Chicago.

LaVine was 17-of-25 from the field, including 9-of-14 from distance, as he racked up a season-high 46 points. White went 8-of-17 from beyond the arc for 30 points, with the Bulls shooting 59.3 per cent overall as they made a franchise record 25 three-pointers.

"We were due for a good team shooting night. We haven't been shooting the ball well as a team, especially at home, so it was time for a good team shooting night," said White.

"Everybody contributed and everybody came out locked in. We knew we let a couple games slip away. Tonight was a much-needed win for us, so we've got to come out and play big. Come out and compete and play the right game."

White shot over 50 per cent from the field for just the fourth time this season and is trying to ignore criticism from outside and focus on improving his on-court relationship with LaVine.

"I just stay the course. Basketball's filled with ups and downs. You're never gonna please everyone," said White.

"I'm still growing and I'm still learning and I know that. I've just got to be who I am, come out and play and block out all the noise – that's the most important thing."

He added of LaVine: "We're continuing to grow. We're continuing to get better, we're continuing to figure each other out playing together. This is the first time we're playing together this year, so we're continuing to grow. We both never get too high or low, we're more focused on the winning part."

LaVine, who also put up seven rebounds, four assists and one block, was not surprised by his performance and was pleased to see White getting hot too.

"That's big. I didn't know that," LaVine said when asked for his reaction to the historic performance from himself and White.

"We're explosive to be able to do that, two really good shooters. Obviously you're not gonna be able to hit shots like that throughout the whole entire game but I'm glad and very happy for Coby that he got back on track. He showed that confidence in him again.

"Coby's a very explosive scorer. Sometimes he's just got to go out there and play his game to get back in rhythm."

On his own display, he added: "I expect to do that. I put in the time and effort. It happens that way. You hit a couple, get hot. You wish it could happen every game. Obviously, it can't. But when you get in a zone, you want to stay in it."

Zach LaVine and Coby White proved unstoppable from downtown as the Chicago Bulls delivered a record-breaking display, while Luka Doncic's superb triple-double powered the Dallas Mavericks.

The Bulls exploded to post an all-time franchise best total of 25 three-pointers as Chicago halted the New Orleans Pelicans' four-match winning streak, 129-116, at the United Center.

LaVine delivered 20 points in the first quarter before going on to drop 46 in total, draining nine of his 14 three-point shots, while White added 30 points including eight of 17 buckets from distance.

The duo became the first team-mates in NBA history to each hit eight three-pointers in the same game as the Bulls came back from eight points down at the half to blow away the Pelicans.

The scorching-hot LaVine also became the first Chicago player to post 120 points in a three-game stretch since Michael Jordan in 1997 as the Bulls improved to 10-14.

Doncic posted his 32nd career triple-double as the Mavericks edged a nail-biting 118-117 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks to extend their winning streak to three.

The Slovenian star dropped 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Dallas trailed by nine at the start of the fourth quarter but finished strongly to close out the win and take their record to 12-14.

Atlanta's John Collins was the game's top scorer with 33 points, while Trae Young notched 25 points and 15 assists, but the Hawks could not find the decisive play in a wild final 90 seconds.


Giannis produces fireworks but Suns claim comeback win

The Phoenix Suns kept their momentum rolling, claiming a fourth straight win by edging Milwaukee 125-124 after coming back from 16 points down, but Giannis Antetokounmpo exploded for the Bucks.

The two-time NBA MVP carried his team on his shoulders, scoring a season-high 47 points and claiming 11 rebounds and five assists. Antetokounmpo almost snatched a remarkable victory but his buzzer-beater bounced back off the rim.

Indiana off the pace against Brooklyn

Malcolm Brogdon had a day to forget as the Indiana Pacers were held under 100 points, falling to their fourth straight defeat, in a 104-94 reverse against the Brooklyn Nets.

The Indiana guard had a 29.4 per cent field-goal success rate, scoring five of his 17 attempts, as the 12-13 Pacers could not match Kyrie Irving and James Harden's high-power offense.

LeBron sets up Matthews for key bucket 

With less than a minute remaining in overtime and the Los Angeles Lakers level against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Wesley Matthews came up clutch.

LeBron James drove towards the paint in heavy traffic, before flipping the ball out right for Matthews to sink the key three-pointer.

The Lakers clinched a 114-113 overtime victory to improve to 20-6.

Wednesday's results

Toronto Raptors 137-115 Washington Wizards
Dallas Mavericks 118-117 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 119-112 Minnesota Timberwolves
Memphis Grizzlies 130-114 Charlotte Hornets
Brooklyn Nets 104-94 Indiana Pacers
Chicago Bulls 129-116 New Orleans Pelicans
Denver Nuggets 133-95 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers 114-113 Oklahoma City Thunder 
Phoenix Suns 125-124 Milwaukee Bucks

 

76ers at Trail Blazers

Led by the in-form Joel Embiid, the 18-7 Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers go on the road to face another team with a winning record, the 13-10 Portland Trail Blazers, on Thursday.

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