A matchup between two teams who were without their starting point guard and playing well of late went in the Los Angeles Lakers favor as they defeated the Chicago Bulls, 108-103 in the opener of a five-game road trip.
Wearing the City Edition jerseys that Kobe Bryant designed, the Lakers got off to a hot start. Though the foundation was laid for a comfortable victory, they allowed the Bulls to make multiple runs throughout the night.
After leading by as many as 17 points in the first quarter, Chicago went on a 12-2 run to cut the Lakers’ lead to 32-25. Then before halftime, the Bulls had a 13-2 stretch to get the game to within a single possession.
While the Lakers managed to dominate the third quarter, the fourth saw Chicago mount yet another run. A Denzel Valentine 3-pointer, his fourth of the game, gave them a 92-90 lead, which was the Bulls’ first since holding a 3-2 edge in the first quarter.
Much like they did when the Bulls made previous runs, L.A. responded to regain control of the game. Brandon Ingram scored six straight points to give the Lakers a 96-95 lead with just under three minutes remaining.
A Julius Randle three-point play and Ingram jump shot helped create some late separation that the Lakers used to come away with their fourth consecutive win. The victory was also their eighth in the past 10 games.
Ingram led the Lakers with a game-high 25 points, adding nine rebounds and five assists. Ingram did his damage while shooting an efficient 10-for-18. Jordan Clarkson (19 points), Brook Lopez (17) and Randle (14) were the other Lakers to reach double-figures in a balanced attack.
Bobby Portis and Valentine each scored 16 points, and Nikola Mirotic added to the Bulls’ bench attack with 18 points. Rookie Laurie Markkanen was just one of two Bulls starters to reach double-digits, scoring 11 points on 10 shots.
After losing in five consecutive seasons at the United Center, the Lakers have now won in back-to-back years in Chicago.
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