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Bulls vs. Hawks highlights: Chicago wins 168-161 in epic 4OT game

game of the year candidate

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls and Hawks entered Friday night’s game with a combined 38 wins, but both teams have been playing a fun brand of basketball for a while now. The two rebuilding squads proceeded to play one of the games of the season, with the Bulls coming out on top in an epic 168-161 victory in FOUR overtimes. The 329 combined points are the third-most scored in a game in NBA history.

The Bulls really should’ve lost this game in regulation after blowing a 13-point lead in the final frame. But for the second time in a week, they were the beneficiaries of a boneheaded foul of a 3-point shooter in the final seconds. After Trae Young hit a ridiculous 3-pointer to make it 124-121 Hawks with 2.2 seconds left, Dewayne Dedmon fouled Otto Porter Jr. on a 3-point attempt with 0.4 seconds left on a somewhat dubious call:

Porter knocked down all three free throws to cap off an eight-point final minute that saved the Bulls. He poured in 31 points and tied a career high with seven 3-pointers:

Zach LaVine dominated the first overtime with 11 points, but Young forced a second extra period with a last-second layup:

The Bulls were in trouble in the second overtime when they went down five points about midway through, but the Hawks didn’t score the rest of the frame. LaVine did this:

But perhaps more importantly, LaVine also made this impressive pass to an open Ryan Arcidiacono in the corner to tie the game:

The Hawks led again for much of the third overtime before LaVine saved the Bulls again, and then the final minute featured a whole lot of bad (two turnovers apiece) to send it to a fourth OT.

Alex Len got the Hawks on the board first with a 3-pointer, but they melted down from there. Len fouled Lauri Markkanen on a 3-pointer with a bout two minutes left, and Markkanen’s three free throws gave the Bulls a three-point lead they wouldn’t relinquish. LaVine put the final nail in the coffin with a circus shot to cap off a career-high 47-point night. He shot 17-of-35 from the field and 6-of-14 on 3-pointers while recording nine assists, nine rebounds and eight turnovers:

Young had a similarly outrageous stat line, going for 49 points, 16 assists, eight rebounds and nine turnovers. He shot 17-of-33 overall and 6-of-13 on 3-pointers. The rookie had 29 points in the fourth quarter and first overtime, but he only had four points over the final three OT periods as the Bulls sold out to stop him. Still, an incredible performance from a guy who has been really coming on lately:

Markkanen matched Porter with 31 points after a sluggish first half. The Bulls also went away from him down the stretch of regulation and throughout much of overtime, but he came up big in the end. He shot 9-of-18 overall, 3-of-6 from 3 and 10-of-12 from the charity stripe while also grabbing 17 rebounds. Oh, he also did this while battling the flu.

The Bulls have now won five of six games to move to 18-45 on the season. They’re three games behind the Hawks in the standings with another matchup on tap Sunday afternoon at the UC. Let’s just say it’ll be hard to top this one.