Bulls’ Ayo Dosunmu matches season-high point total in victory against Hornets

After struggling in January, averaging only 8.5 points in the Bulls’ 14 games, Dosunmu scored 22 points in their first game of February. He shot 9-for-10 from the field.

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The Bulls’ Ayo Dosunmu drives around LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets.

The Bulls’ Ayo Dosunmu drives around LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

In the fourth quarter of their game last month in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Hornets torched the Bulls.

History wouldn’t repeat itself Thursday at the United Center.

Every time the Hornets made a run, the Bulls had an answer. A layup from Ayo Dosunmu here, a three-pointer by Nikola Vucevic there and an overall strong response to any threat.

The Bulls sealed their 114-98 victory after Hornets guard LaMelo Ball was sent to the locker room for being assessed back-to-back technical fouls that All-Star forward DeMar DeRozan converted into free throws.

The victory brought the Bulls a step closer to .500, improving their record to 24-27.

‘‘A lot of guys [contributed],’’ coach Billy Donovan said. ‘‘Zach [LaVine] generated a lot of offensive for us with his passing. DeMar did the same thing. Ayo really did a nice job starting the game and getting downhill. Patrick [Williams] didn’t have a big night offensively, but he was a little more aggressive in the second [half]. Then I thought Coby [White] started the game aggressive.’’

After he was selected by the NBA’s coaches to appear in his second consecutive All-Star Game and sixth overall, DeRozan was relatively quiet all game. He had three points in the first half before adding 12 in the second to finish with 15 to go with seven assists and four rebounds.

LaVine struggled, scoring only 10 points and shooting 1-for-4 from three-point range. Luckily for the Bulls, their bench showed up. White scored 20 points, and Andre Drummond had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The star of the game, however, was Dosunmu. After struggling in January by averaging only 8.5 points in the Bulls’ 14 games, he tied his season high with 22 points on 9-for-10 shooting from the field in their first game in February.

‘‘It’s a testament to our team,’’ Dosunmu said. ‘‘We have a very deep team. At this point in the season, we’re going to need everybody to come out on both ends.’’

Drummond averaged only 7.8 minutes in January and sat out five games completely. But Donovan needed him on the boards against a frontcourt led by Mason Plumlee.

‘‘He’s been great,’’ Donovan said of Drummond. ‘‘For a guy that’s been in the league as long as he has and has had the success he’s had, he’s a competitive guy. When guys are out of the rotation, I don’t think you as a coach ever want guys to say, ‘OK, this is great.’ He wants to be out there.’’

NOTE: Guard Alex Caruso left the game early in the second quarter with a sprained right foot and didn’t return. Forward Patrick Williams came up limping in the fourth quarter before heading back to the locker room. Coach Billy Donovan said Caruso had met with doctors, but Williams had not. After the game, Williams said he felt fine, other than slight swelling after removing tape from his right ankle.

Center Nikola Vucevic took a knee to the thigh in the final minutes that left him lying on the floor for a few moments, but Donovan said he was fine.

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