CJ McCollum scores 23 points, Pelicans top Bulls 124-110

CJ McCollum scored 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 22 points and the New Orleans Pelicans won their second straight game without Zion Williamson in the lineup, beating the Chicago Bulls 124-110 on Wednesday night.

Trey Murphy III hit five 3s and finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, and the Pelicans combined to make 17 3-pointers en route to their third straight win overall, and fourth in five games.

DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points and Zach LaVine had 25 for Chicago. The Bulls have dropped three straight, starting with their home loss to New Orleans on Nov. 9.

With Williamson watching from the bench with a bruised right foot, New Orleans opened a lead as large as 26 points when Naji Marshall’s 3 made it 108-82 with 8:10 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls didn’t miss a shot attempt for about seven minutes, hitting nine straight, but could not get closer than 14 at 119-105 on DeRozan’s driving dunk.

Murphy, who also had three steals, finished 5 of 6 from deep, hitting one shot from 33 feet out. He also completed a transition dunk over Nikola Vucevic, added a putback dunk and had three steals.

Brandon Ingram missed 11 of 15 shots but still had 16 points and nine assists. Jose Alvarado made 6 of 7 shots and had 13 points.

The Pelicans hit 10 of 19 3-point shots in the first half, including four makes from deep by Murphy, and led 58-53 at halftime


Bulls: Shot 11 of 17 from on free throws, marking the first time in 14 games Chicago shot below 80% from the free-throw line. ... Vucevic finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. ... Alex Caruso had 13 points in a reserve role. ... Shot 11 of 32 from 3.

Pelicans: Coach Willie Green said Williamson remains day to day and could return to action before New Orleans’ homestand ends on Monday night against Golden State. ... New Orleans (9-6) is three games above .500 for the first time since Nov. 19, 2018. ... Shot better from 3-point range (51.5%) than from inside the arc (26 of 52, or 50%).


Bulls: Host Orlando on Friday night.

Pelicans: Host Boston on Friday night.