Despite a career-high 50 from Zach LaVine, Bulls lose a heartbreaker

Bulls guard Zach LaVine spent the first half of Friday night’s game against the Hawks chasing history.

In the second half, he was doing everything he could to try to scratch out a win.

Fifty points never felt so empty.

Despite LaVine adding his first 50-point night to a career season that included his first All-Star Game appearance, the Bulls (22-29) lost a heartbreaker 120-108 in Atlanta.

Did that cheapen what LaVine did — shooting 18-for-31, including 7-for-12 from three-point range? It shouldn’t have. But try selling that to LaVine, who also added eight rebounds and five assists. He said he’d trade all those numbers for a win.

“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “Played a really, really good [first] half. It sucks when you’ve got an opportunity like that to win, so obviously I’d much rather take the win right now.

“With Toronto [on Thursday], we started off slow, and I wanted to pick us up with the back-to-back, so I was going to come out aggressive either way.”

LaVine established from tipoff that he was on a business trip, scoring the Bulls’ first 10 points. By the second quarter, his one-man show had the Hawks’ defense bleeding. It included a streak of 25 straight points that finally was interrupted when Nikola Vucevic made a hook shot with 49.5 seconds left in the half.

LaVine went into the locker room with 39 points, having joined some serious company. He became…

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