Aldridge helps Spurs beat Bulls 108-107
CHICAGO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge showed off his smooth low-post game in the fourth quarter.
He even threw down an impressive dunk for good measure.
Aldridge scored 11 of his 20 points in the final period, and the San Antonio Spurs held off the Chicago Bulls for a 108-107 victory on Monday night.
“I just got touches,” Aldridge said. “I touched it a little bit more and kind of found my rhythm and once I felt good I was trying to keep going.”
DeMar DeRozan had 21 points for San Antonio, and Patty Mills finished with 17. Bryn Forbes made three of the Spurs’ 10 3-pointers on his way to 13 points.
San Antonio had dropped three of four, including a 135-129 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday. But the Spurs bounced back behind the clutch play of Aldridge and DeRozan.
“I like the fact that DeMar and L.A. got aggressive down the stretch and took over,” coach Gregg Popovich said.
Chicago had two chances to go in front in the final seconds and came up empty each time. Zach LaVine was short on a long 3-point try from the top of the key. Ryan Arcidiacono then stole Forbes’ inbounds pass and missed a jumper as time expired.
“It was just a tough way to end the game,” Arcidiacono said.
LaVine scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth, but the Bulls lost for the seventh time in eight games. Arcidiacono finished with a career-high 22 points, and Jabari Parker had 18 points and 10 rebounds.
LaVine also had eight rebounds, seven assists and six of Chicago’s 11 turnovers. Asked about settling for the long 3 in the final seconds of a one-point game, LaVine sounded as if he had no regrets.
“If I make it, different result. If I don’t, it’s a bad shot,” he said. “But I don’t care. I think I can make it and I will make it in the future.”
LaVine’s two foul shots gave Chicago a 101-98 lead with 5:58 left, but San Antonio responded with a 10-0 run.
Aldridge started the decisive sequence with a fadeaway jumper. Derrick White made a go-ahead 3-pointer and DeRozan had a slick reverse layup before Aldridge punctuated the spurt with a three-point play on a drive and jam with 2:13 remaining.
DeRozan said Aldridge’s move reminded him of the big man’s college days at Texas, but Aldridge wasn’t ready to go that far.
“I wouldn’t say that,” a chuckling Aldridge said, “but definitely a younger me. But I felt good tonight and just made it happen.”
San Antonio’s reserves finished with 44 points, compared to 14 for Chicago’s backups. Mills was 7 for 10 from the field and Jakob Poeltl had 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting.
“They saved us again,” Popovich said. “The second unit has been great.”
Spurs: It was DeRozan’s 16th game this season with at least 20 points. ... San Antonio earned its fourth straight win against Chicago.
Bulls: F Lauri Markkanen (sprained right elbow) has been cleared to “fully participate in practice” on Tuesday, coach Fred Hoiberg said. If that goes well, a timeline for Markkanen’s return could come into focus. “Hopefully he feels great and keeps making progress and we can get him out on the floor soon,” Hoiberg said. ... G Kris Dunn (left MCL sprain) and F Bobby Portis (right MCL sprain) could participate in the non-contact portions of practice on Tuesday. “So they’re going to kind of get on the same path as what Lauri has gone through the last couple of weeks, to start integrating themselves back into the team,” Hoiberg said. ... Rookie F Chandler Hutchison returned after missing three games because of back spasms.
Spurs: Visit Minnesota on Wednesday night. The Spurs beat the Timberwolves 112-108 in their season opener on Oct. 17.
Bulls: Open a four-game trip at Milwaukee on Wednesday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap