East Notes: Bulls, Zach LaVine, Pacers, Heat


Coach Billy Donovan said guard Zach LaVine and center Nikola Vucevic will return to the lineup once they are healthy enough to do so.Zach LaVine

“I appreciate what (Andre Drummond) has done in the absence of Zach and Vuc,” Donovan told reporters. “It’s always a little bit funky when you have guys coming back into the rotation. We got all of these guys coming back and we have to find a chemistry and cohesiveness.”

  • The Bulls are coming off an overtime win over the Hornets in which guard Coby White, a North Carolina product, scored 27 in his home state. “It’s always fun to come back home and see everybody who supported me throughout my career,” said White, who grew up in Greensboro.
  • The Bulls are looking to trade LaVine, but it may not be such a good idea to land him if you’re the Lakers, one insider says. We have that full post here.


The Pacers trailed their home game against the Celtics by nine points at halftime and lost guard Tyrese Haliburton to a hamstring injury. Yet they came back to win anyway behind the strength of seven players scoring in double figures. Guard Bennedict Mathurin led the way with 26 points.

“Really amazing effort from our team,” coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. “A lot of emotions in this game, for a lot of reasons: you’re playing the best team in basketball and Tyrese’s injury situation.”

  • Indiana was relieved when Haliburton’s MRI showed that the injury was a hamstring strain. We have that full post here.
  • Carlisle admitted he was happy to get the win despite the disappointment of losing Haliburton. “That was a very deflating moment,” he said. “(But) this was an important game. Every game that we play has the ability to be a season-defining game.”


Point guard Kyle Lowry was diagnosed with a sprained left hand during the Heat’s game against the Rockets on Monday — but kept playing to help his team get the win.

“The Philly guy in him right now is saying ‘I’ll be all right,’” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters of Lowry. “He’s as tough as you can be in this league. He’s played through more things than probably anybody currently playing in this association.”

  • Big man Bam Adebayo erupted for 18 points and 10 rebounds in the final 24 minutes after being slowed by foul trouble early. “My teammates were looking for me in the second half,” he said.
  • Five teams in the Eastern Conference are 21-15, including the Heat. Power forward Kevin Love said he’s never seen anything like it. We have that full post here.

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