With Anthony Davis out due to a right adductor strain, the Los Angeles Lakers were in need of someone to step up in his absence to help LeBron James get the team back in the win column. Fortunately for L.A., Montrezl Harrell was more than up to the task.
Harrell posted a double-double in Davis’ absence with 17 points and 14 rebounds (7 offensive) to support LeBron, who led the Lakers with 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Lakers held on for a 117-115 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
The win improved the Lakers’ record to a Western conference best 7-3.
With Davis out, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still dealing with soreness in his left ankle, head coach Frank Vogel turned to a new starting lineup in hopes of providing the Lakers with some more physicality and toughness to start.
Markieff Morris and Wesley Matthews made their first starts of the season, but it didn’t help the Lakers against Bulls star Zach LaVine, who hit all eight of his shots for 19 points.
The Lakers were able to turn things around ultimately, however, and it took a real team effort to do so. Dennis Schroder bounced back after a rough stretch of games to finish with 17 points and six assists, while Matthews knocked down four 3-pointers in the third quarter to finish with 14 points on the night.
Things went down to the wire as the Bulls refused to go away quietly even when it seemed the Lakers had the game in hand. A 3 from Garrett Temple cut the Lakers’ lead to one and when an attempt by James from just inside the logo didn’t fall, Chicago had a chance to win.
LaVine missed a midrange jumper and the rebound fell off the fingertips of Patrick Williams, allowing the Lakers to hold on.
Morris finished with 11 points and six rebounds, while Marc Gasol had four blocks to go along with six points and four rebounds. The Lakers also got nine points apiece from Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker, and Vogel even turned to seldom-used Jared Dudley for an energy boost late in the third.
LaVine had 38 points, Wendell Carter Jr added 23 points and seven rebounds, and Thaddeus Young scored 15 points off the Bulls bench.
Next up for Lakers
After a couple of home games, the Lakers hit the road once again for a pair of games against the Houston Rockets before traveling to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder.
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