Julius Randle scored 31 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the struggling Chicago Bulls 125-120 Wednesday night with All-Star Anthony Davis watching from the bench.
Davis was healthy enough to return from a sprained left index finger that has sidelined him since Jan. 18. But the Pelicans opted to hold him out with Thursday’s trade deadline approaching.
The six-time All-Star has made it known he wants out of New Orleans. He was even fined $50,000 by the NBA after his agent went public with that request.
Randle scored 19 in a blistering fourth quarter and finished six points shy of his season high.
He hit 4 of 6 3-pointers and shot 10 of 18 overall, helping the Pelicans pick up the win after losing six of seven.
Jrue Holiday and Cheick Diallo each scored 18, and Chicago product Jahlil Okafor finished with 13 points.
The Bulls agreed to trade Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis to Washington for Otto Porter Jr. shortly before tipoff. Then, they lost for the 16th time in 18 games. A person familiar with the deal confirmed Chicago’s trade with the Wizards on the condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced.
Lauri Markkanen led Chicago with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Zach LaVine scored 28, and Kris Dunn added 18 points and eight assists.
Randle hit two 3-pointers in a span of just over a minute in the fourth quarter to make it 113-100 with 4:05 left. LaVine drove for a dunk to cut it to 123-118 with 10.9 seconds remaining, but Randle then hit two free throws to make it a seven-point game.
Pelicans: F Nikola Mirotic (strained right calf) missed his seventh consecutive game. He has not played in Chicago since the Bulls traded him to New Orleans last February.
Bulls: G Denzel Valentine, who had season-ending surgery on his left ankle in November, said he is able to do some resistance work.
Pelicans: Host Minnesota on Friday.
Bulls: Visit Brooklyn on Friday.