While the Los Angeles Lakers found a way to end the 2019 California Classic on a high note, they were not able to keep that momentum going in the 2019 Las Vegas Summer League after losing the opener versus the Chicago Bulls, 96-76.
The Lakers struggled to find their footing early on due to their carelessness with the basketball. Fortunately, the active play of Nick Perkins managed to keep the Bulls from going on an extensive run with a quick six points and three rebounds.
It was only a matter of time before Chicago found a way to start capitalizing off their stingy defense with easy layups in transition to give themselves their first double-digit lead of the game. The Bulls were able to go on a 17-1 run on the back of nine turnovers to go up 29-14 at the end of the first quarter.
Los Angeles finally managed to somewhat stop the bleeding in the second quarter thanks to their increased efforts on the defensive end, but they still could not find their rhythm on offense. Despite their struggles, the Lakers stayed in the game on the back of their three-point shooting.
They managed to go 6-of-15 from deep while the Bulls missed all nine of their attempts from that range in the first half. As a result, Chicago went into the break with only a 50-40 lead.
Both teams were trading buckets to start the second half. The Lakers’ prowess from deep once again managed to alleviate any sort of momentum the Bulls were getting from their hounding defense early in the third quarter.
Zach Norvell Jr. continued to lead the charge from the three-point line while the Bulls responded with easy points in the paint. The Lakers managed to shore things up inside to go on a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to seven going into the fourth quarter.
Although Chicago was adamant about not letting their lead slip away to start the final period, Los Angeles benefitted from being much more aggressive on the glass, especially on offense. The Bulls were finally able to hit their first three-pointer of the game after going 0-for-15 to start courtesy of Chandler Hutchinson.
Their lone made shot from deep provided them with just the spark they needed to take control of the game down the final stretch of the fourth quarter. The Lakers ultimately fell short in their Summer League opener with a 20-point loss to the Bulls.