A day later, however, the tables turned.
The Lakers beat the Bulls to win their 10th game, a milestone it took them more than two months longer to reach the season before.
Here are five takeaways from that game.
1. Julius Randle showed he possesses some natural leadership qualities. Even though his coaches wanted to take him off a matchup against USC product Taj Gibson that created a problem for the Lakers the last time they played, Randle wanted it. And the reason he wanted it is significant — he wanted to set an example for the rest of the team by not backing down. At 22, Randle is part of the Lakers’ young corps, but that mentality indicates a more veteran way of thinking.
2. The Lakers were able to take advantage of their bench power, despite having to break up the second unit by starting Brandon Ingram. Ingram took over for Nick Young, who has a calf strain, and played 41 minutes. It’s rare for the Lakers to have a player log so many minutes, but Ingram’s ability to start, combined with his importance in that second unit and his youth, likely contributed.
3. In addition to Randle’s double-double, Larry Nance Jr. had one and Luol Deng approached one. That’s a testament to the Lakers aggressiveness on the boards, and part of why they outrebounded the Bulls 60-46.
4. All of the Lakers bigs who logged major minutes wound up in foul trouble. Randle, Timofey Mozgov and Larry Nance Jr. each had four, while Tarik Black had five. But this did not concern Lakers Coach Luke Walton. “We got lots of bigs. We got Timo, T Black. … We got Thomas Robinson, who we’re comfortable playing too. A lot of times as a coach you’re supposed to take a player out on the second foul, third, fourth foul. But we’re confident with all our guys. So I give them more leeway. If they get in foul trouble, that’s fine because like I said we got two, three guys that can play that position and even Julius finished the game at center. I wasn’t worried about it.”
5. The Lakers attempted only eight three-pointers and made two of them. Young averages 6.1 three-point attempts, so without him, there are many fewer attempts.