Zach LaVine Erupts for Career-High 50 in Bulls' Loss to Trae Young, Hawks

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 10, 2021

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 9:  Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks on April 9, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine scored 39 first-half points en route to a career-high 50 in a 120-108 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday evening.

LaVine shot 13-of-19 (7-of-9 from three-point range) in the first half to give Chicago a 66-53 halftime edge. He scored all of Chicago's 25 points during a 6:37 span in the second quarter.

ESPN @espn

Zach LaVine scored 25 (!!!) straight points for the Bulls in the 2nd quarter πŸ₯΅ pic.twitter.com/35KozwS4bn

LaVine became one of three players to score 39 or more first-half points in the last 20 years, per the NBA:

NBA History @NBAHistory

Zach LaVine (39 PTS in 1st half) is the third player over the last 20 seasons to score 39+ points in the 1st half, joining Klay Thompson (40 PTS on Dec. 5, 2016) and Kobe Bryant (42 PTS on Mar. 28, 2003). pic.twitter.com/KDuBZwbbkO

He also made Bulls history along the way:

Chicago Bulls @chicagobulls

Zach is the first Bull to have a first-half 30-piece since MJ in 97!@NBCSChicago | @ZachLaVine pic.twitter.com/AlspmmbxVi

Numerous NBA players noticed LaVine's work Friday, including Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Phoenix Suns wing Mikal Bridges:

Donovan Mitchell @spidadmitchell

Bruh Zach goin crazy rn!!! @ZachLaVine 😳😳

Mikal Bridges @mikal_bridges

Lavine is wildin lol

LaVine has a habit of scoring points in bunches. For starters, his first 14 points came within the game's first seven minutes.

He also notably scored 49 against the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 23, 2019, including 27 in the fourth quarter alone:

Chicago Bulls @chicagobulls

This man was on fire tonight.<br><br>Watch all of @ZachLaVine’s 13 threes here πŸ”₯ pic.twitter.com/N9BlrOj5kR

LaVine scored 11 in the second half and capped his career night with this dunk to give himself 50 points:

Bulls Talk @NBCSBulls

Well, Zach LaVine had a 50-piece pic.twitter.com/dYnm4ZZhIt

Outside LaVine and center Nikola Vucevic (25 points, 10 boards), however, the Bulls largely struggled offensively, scoring just 33 points on 12-of-36 shooting.

That opened the door for a Hawks comeback, and Atlanta took advantage of the opportunity. 

The Hawks outscored the Bulls 67-42 in the second half to win by 12. Atlanta point guard Trae Young posted a near triple-double with 42 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

It was a disappointing result for the Bulls but an impressive night for LaVine, as the guard notched the first 50-point game of his career.