Lakers falter late in 95-83 loss to Bulls
Bulls 95 - Lakers 83 (end of regulation)
With the game tied at 75, the Lakers were in position to close out on the road against a playoff team.
Instead, the Bulls would go on 20-8 run to send the Lakers to their third straight loss, sixth in a row on the road.
Kirk Hinrich was a major problem for the Lakers, scoring 22 points on 9-11 shooting with eight assists and seven rebounds. Marco Belinelli hit a pair of threes in the fourth, breaking the Lakers back. Belinelli finished with 15 points off the bench.
The Lakers got 18 points from Steve Nash with six assists. Kobe Bryant scored 16 on 7-22 shooting.
Pau Gasol came off the bench in a new role for Coach Mike D’Antoni. He scored 15 points with 12 rebounds. Dwight Howard struggled to get involved offensively with eight points and nine boards. It was an early fifth foul in the fourth quarter, sending Howard to the bench,, that was the beginning of the end for the Lakers.
Earl Clark started for Gasol, providing energy with 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Neither team shot well from the field. The Lakers hit 39.5% and just 17.6% from three. Their 16 free throws on 23 attempts kept it close until Chicago broke it open.
The Bulls hit only 41.9% from the field but the burst from Hinrich and Belinelli was enough.
The Lakers fall to 17-24. The Bulls climb to 24-16.
Lakers 69 - Bulls 69 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers got their turnovers under control and slowly worked their way back from a 10-point deficit, taking their first lead of the game with 25.6 seconds left in the third.
After turning the ball over nine times in the first half, the Lakers had just one turnover in the third. Steve Nash led the Lakers with 16 points as the Lakers shot 43.5% from the field.
The Bulls shot 40.6% from the field, led by 16 from Kirk Hinrich on 6-7 shooting. The Bulls also got 13 from Rip Hamilton and 10 from Carlos Boozer.
Pau Gasol got hot to give the Lakers a boost with nine points off the bench. Dwight Howard had just six points with eight rebounds and two blocks.
Bulls 47 - Lakers 40 (halftime)
The Bulls extended their lead to 11 early in the second quarter. The Lakers fought back to within two but Chicago was able to respond.
The Lakers improved defensively, holding the Bulls to 40% for the game, but nine turnovers from the Lakers and six Chicago three-pointers gave the home team a seven-point lead.
Steve Nash led all scorers with 11 points. Kobe Bryant and Earl Clark each had eight. Dwight Howard scored just three; Gasol had five off the bench.
The Lakers shot 43.2% from the field but just 11.1% from behind the arc. The Lakers benefitted from 10 additional free throws, out-scoring Chicago by six from the line.
Bulls 27 - Lakers 20 (end of first quarter)
Coach Mike D’Antoni shuffled his starting lineup, moving Pau Gasol to the bench for Earl Clark. The Lakers didn’t exactly respond in Chicago against the Bulls, getting out-scored 27-20.
Chicago shot 46.2% from the field, led by Rip Hamilton’s eight points.
Steve Nash was aggressive offensively, scoring eight points on a team-high six shots. Kobe Bryant had four, but Dwight Howard was scoreless on one attempt.
As a team, the Lakers shot 36.8%. Gasol scored just a single point in four minutes.
The Lakers (17-23) play their second of a back-to-back on Monday, visiting the Chicago Bulls (23-16) after losing to the Toronto Raptors Sunday morning.
Chicago’s Carlos Boozer was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Luol Deng is a game-time decision.
The Lakers have really struggled to win games on the road. Surprisingly the Bulls are only 11-11 at home despite a 12-5 road record.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers at Bulls.
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