After losing 105-88 to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers (9-10) looked to bounce back as they faced the Chicago Bulls (10-6) Wednesday night at the United Center.
The two teams met on Nov. 20, as the Bulls defeated the Lakers at Staples Center, 118-110, and Jimmy Butler posted a season-high 40 points. Although the Lakers continue to struggle with injuries — D’Angelo Russell (knee) and Nick Young (calf strain) — more minutes have opened up for other guys on the team. Brandon Ingram was plugged into the starting lineup — his third start of the season — and Jose Calderon continues to get more reps at the point guard spot.
Here’s a quarter-by-quarter recap from tonight’s game.
The Lakers got out to an early 4-0 start, but the Bulls quickly capitalized and went on a 6-0 run. With Russell and Young out of the starting lineup, Julius Randle needed to fill the void and be the team’s primary offensive threat.
The Lakers struggled to get into an offensive flow and had no answer on defense for the Bulls and were down 16-7. Playing shorthanded, Lou Williams, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson checked into the game to try and put points on the board.
A Robin Lopez dunk would put the Bulls up by 12 — the biggest lead of the game. The Lakers shot 36.8% (7-19) from the field and committed eight turnovers. Julius Randle and Luol Deng had five points apiece, and the Lakers trailed, 28-17 after the first quarter.
Two free throws from Lou Williams cut the double-digit deficit to five. Ingram continued to be aggressive on offense, getting to the free throw line again and hitting two more free throws to cut the Bulls’ lead to three.
A Williams basket put the Lakers down one, but Jimmy Butler was fouled on a layup and completed the three-point play to push the Bulls’ lead back to four. Ingram seemed to have suffered a shot to the mouth but continued to stay in the game.
The Lakers continued to rally back after a Luol Deng bucket and free throw to cut the team’s deficit to three, but Rajon Rondo, a player who isn’t known for his shooting, hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers.
A 15-footer from Mozgov put the Lakers by one at the 2-minute mark. On the next play, Ingram drove and was fouled on a layup, but missed the free throw to tie it up at 46.
Williams, who’s known to draw contact, was fouled by Taj Gibson on a jumper with 4.9 seconds in the half, making both free throws to tie the game at 47 at the half.
The Lakers had 24 bench points — eight from Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams and six from Larry Nance Jr.
Jose Calderon started the quarter off with a bucket to give the Lakers their first lead since the first quarter and was fouled on a layup, completing the three-point play.
Rajon Rondo hit a 3-pointer and the Bulls were up 57-52. The Lakers continued to battle as the Bulls would regain the lead, stretching it to 65-57. A Williams drive and dish to Tarik Black cut the deficit to four, but again, the Lakers had no answer for the Bulls on the defensive end.
Williams continued to be the Lakers’ key component on the offensive end, hitting a three to cut the Bulls’ lead to three and feeding Tarik Black for a layup that cut it to one.
Two Dwyane Wade free throws put the Bulls up 73-68. Before the quarter ended, Williams drew contact again like he did before halftime, this time from the 3-point line. He made two of three free throws and Los Angeles trailed, 73-70, heading into the fourth.
Larry Nance Jr. scored four points to cut the deficit to three. The Lakers then forced a turnover and Jordan Clarkson’s layup cut it to one. On the next play, Thomas Robinson hit a floater that gave the Lakers the 78-77 lead and Fred Holberg called a timeout.
Both teams traded baskets after the timeout, but an Isaiah Canaan 3-pointer gave the Bulls an 85-82 lead, immediately forcing Luke Walton to call a timeout of his own. After the timeout, Randle grabbed his 18th rebound and scored to cut the deficit to one.
Rajon Rondo fouled Brandon Ingram on the three-point line and the rookie madetwo out of three free throws to give the Lakers the 86-85 lead. Both teams continued to trade baskets, as Wade had a breakaway layup and Clarkson answered on the other end with a floater driving to the baseline.
Clarkson hit another mid-range jumper and extended the lead, 90-87. Jimmy Butler pulled up from the right wing and buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 90 with 1:30 left in the game. Julius Randle scored after hitting his patented go-to spin move, giving the Lakers a 92-90 lead with 45.1 seconds to go, as Fred Holberg called another timeout.
After a missed jumper by Jimmy Butler after the timeout, the Lakers regained possession and Williams was fouled driving to the baseline. Williams split the pair and the Lakers led 93-90 with 19.5 seconds to go. A Randle free throw on hte next play would make it a two-possession game.
Although Los Angeles had a season-high 23 turnovers, five Lakers finished in double figures: Jordan Clarkson (18), Lou Williams (18), Julius Randle (12), Larry Nance Jr (10) and Luol Deng (10). Randle also tied his career-high in rebounds (20). The Lakers bench outscored the Bulls’, 54-16, and shot 40.7% from the field (25% from three)
Final: Los Angeles Lakers 96, Chicago Bulls 90