The Chicago Bulls presented the Los Angeles Lakers with yet another reality check, dominating L.A. to notch a 121-103 win on Monday.
The Bulls thrived on both ends of the floor. DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points, Lonzo Ball added 27 and Zach LaVine chipped 26 to ensure Chicago wouldn’t give up their first-quarter lead until the final buzzer.
L.A. trailed by nearly 30 points late in the fourth period.
But the Bulls did an even better job at neutralizing the Lakers’ offense. In a damning stat, Ball made more 3-pointers on Monday (7-of-10) than the entire Los Angeles squad (6-of-32, which translates to an 18.8% efficiency).
Anthony Davis scored 20 points but managed to attempt just nine field goals in over 28 minutes on the floor — before the officials ejected him late in the third quarter. Head coach Frank Vogel applauded the Bulls for their incessant coverage of the 28-year-old All-Star, particularly the aggressive double-teams they threw at the forward.
“We haven’t seen that type of double team this year,” Vogel said. “Credit Chicago for being very aggressive. They were trying to take him out of the game with post frontals and immediate double teams.”
Vogel added the Lakers didn’t react to Chicago’s aggressive defense well because the players are still in the process of learning new defensive schemes.
“With a new group, we didn’t adjust to it very well,” Vogel said. “We missed open threes on the backside. We turned the ball over too much, we had too many bad possessions early on trying to get AD involved. A part of a new season with a new group is all these guys are new to playing with Anthony, they’re trying to figure that out.
“Understanding where we want to go to when we see a defense like that.”
Talen Horton-Tucker: Lakers need to learn how to use rivals’ defense against them
Besides the loss, Talen Horton-Tucker put on an impressive performance and register a new career-high in scoring with 28 points. He also battled the Bulls on the defensive end, often covering their most dangerous scorers.
L.A. still couldn’t stop the prolific Chicago offense. Horton-Tucker said the Lakers need to do a better job at adjusting to their opponents’ tactics during the game.
“Just figure out a way to kind of use their defense against them,” he said.
“Try to use their scrappy and swarming defense against them and try to just make them pay. It’s something that we have to look over again. Just try to get better from it.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!