Ayo Dosunmu scores career-high 34 as Bulls pound Wizards 127-98

CHICAGO (AP) — Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 34 points, Nikola Vucevic added 29 points and 13 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls pounded the Washington Wizards 127-98 on Saturday night.

The Bulls made it look easy against the team with the NBA’s worst record, with Dosunmu and Vucevic setting the tone. They led by 22 at halftime and never were threatened after the break.

Dosunmu, whose previous high was 29 points in a win at Atlanta last month, made four 3-pointers. The third-year pro matched a season best with nine assists.

Dosunmu said he keeps a journal tracking his progress. And there's a noticeable difference from a year ago.

“I wrote down where I was at last year because I knew I wasn't the player I wanted to be," said Dosunmu, a Chicago product who played at Illinois. “I understood that in order to get better, it's gonna take a lot of time and a lot of work. I pretty much (tried) to write it down just so at a time like now, I could look back a year and say ‘OK, this is where I was at.’”

Coach Billy Donovan said Dosunmu was a constant presence at the team's practice facility in the offseason. And the work is paying off.

“I do think there's even much more room for improvement for him,” Donovan said. “I think he had to solve some things for himself, just talking to him a little bit about the way he was being guarded. ... It's really hard to play to your strengths — which for him is out in transition in the open floor, attacking the paint — if you're not a threat ever to shoot.”

Alex Caruso scored 16. DeMar DeRozan added 13 points — despite taking just seven shots — and six assists. The Bulls shot about 58% and dominated the Wizards in the paint, 68-46.

The Wizards fell to 4-20 under interim coach Brian Keefe with their third straight loss and 19th in 21 games.

“They were able to get the ball in the paint, score in the paint, offensive rebound in the paint,” Keefe said. “We didn't probably do enough of resistance early in the game. But then as the game grew, our fight actually got better. So I was pleased with that.”

Corey Kispert led Washington with 16 points, and Bilal Coulibaly scored 15.

The Bulls didn't wait too long to put this one away, outscoring the Wizards 67-45 in the first half behind 18 points each from Vucevic and Dosunmu.

Vucevic also grabbed seven rebounds, while Dosunmu had four assists. Caruso added 11 points.

Washington took a brief 19-16 lead after Justin Champagnie hit a 3 with four minutes left in the first quarter, but the Bulls responded by burying the Wizards.

Dosunmu drove for a finger-roll layup and Caruso made a 3, sparking a 17-3 run that stretched into the second. The lead reached 24 on a hook by Vucevic making it 63-39 with just over two minutes remaining in the half.

The Bulls were without one of their top players again with guard Coby White missing his second consecutive game because of a strained right hip. Donovan said the team hopes to have him back within the next week.

White was hurt when the Pacers' Pascal Siakam blocked his layup and landed on him near the end of regulation in Chicago’s overtime win at Indiana on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Wizards: Host Boston on Sunday.

Bulls: Host Portland on Monday.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba