The Los Angeles Lakers got their revenge on the Chicago Bulls, beating them 121-110 to start off their five-game road trip.
Austin Reaves got off to a good start, draining a corner 3 and finishing at the rim on the following two possessions to give the Lakers and early 13-6. LeBron James got in on the action soon after, hitting his own 3 and scoring in the paint to take a 12-point lead.
Los Angeles kept their foot on the gas pedal, attacking the key and getting great looks to extend their early lead to an many as 17. The all-bench lineup struggled to score and take care of the basketball in the closing minutes of the first quarter, but Los Angeles managed to take a 31-20 lead going into the second.
Dennis Schroder had a rough stretch to begin the second, missing a wide-open layup and getting called for a technical foul that allowed the Bulls to trim the Laker lead to just three. Turnovers plagued Los Angeles which resulted in Chicago scoring on the other end and eventually taking their first lead of the night.
The Lakers eventually got back to what worked in the first quarter, namely going right at the Bulls’ interior defense to tie the game at 45 apiece. Anthony Davis and James started to physically assert themselves against Chicago, muscling their way to baskets and free throws to reclaim a 59-51 lead after a 10-0 run to end the half.
Los Angeles picked up where they left off in the second quarter, scoring well in the half court to increase their lead to 13. Fortunately, the Lakers didn’t let up as they crashed the glass for offensive boards and extra shots to grab the momentum.
Chicago once again capitalized on some poor bench play as they knocked in a pair of 3-pointers to trim L.A.’s lead to 12. Despite another lackluster close to a quarter, the purple and gold went into the final period with a 85-76 lead.
The Laker defense tightened up to begin the fourth, while James made an impact on both ends with his energy and effort. Chicago attempted to climb back with a mini run, but James and Davis responded to stop it from escalating.
The Bulls didn’t quit, though, knocking down a 3 for every Laker two-pointer to make things tighter than it had to be. Although Los Angeles eased up on the defensive end, their offense had no problem finding buckets and they would manage to pull out the much-needed victory.
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