PARIS — With Victor Wembanyama sitting courtside and watching some of the players he’ll go up against next season, Zach LaVine scored 30 points and the Chicago Bulls never trailed in a 126-108 win over the Detroit Pistons at the NBA Paris Game on Thursday.
DeMar DeRozan added 26 points for the Bulls, and Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 25 points. Killian Hayes, the only French player on either roster, scored four points for Detroit on 2-of-13 shooting, but had a game-high eight assists.
Hamidou Diallo had 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting for Detroit, while Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey each scored 16 for the Pistons.
It was the capper to several days of celebrating the NBA in France, after both teams took part in clinics, touristy events like visits to the Eiffel Tower, some upscale dinners and even a private show for the Pistons at the Paris Opera House.
And while the game counted — Chicago (21-24) stayed in 10th in the Eastern Conference and what would be the last play-in spot with the win, while Detroit fell to 12-36, the second-worst mark in the NBA — it also was no mundane middle-of-the-season regular-season matchup.
The celebrity list included NBA greats like Magic Johnson, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Tony Parker; a Bulls legend and native French son in Joakim Noah; the rising star that everybody can’t stop talking about in Wembanyama; WNBA players like Gabby Williams; even Grammy winners and Formula 1 drivers.
CELTICS 121, WARRIORS 118 (OT): Jayson Tatum scored 34 points with a career-high 19 rebounds to help the Celtics pull away from Golden State in an NBA Finals rematch and beat the Warriors in Boston. Jaylen Brown had 16 points and nine rebounds. He made a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Al Horford had 20 points, 10 boards and three blocked shots for the Celtics.
TIMBERWOLVES 128, RAPTORS 126: D’Angelo Russell scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Anthony Edwards had 23 and host Minnesota rallied to beat Toronto. Kyle Anderson added 20 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which was down Rudy Gobert and Austin Rivers and playing the second game of a back-to-back after a fourth-quarter collapse a night earlier in Denver.