The Lakers returned home Sunday afternoon after a short three game road trip to face the Chicago Bulls. The game was the first of a six game home stand for the Lakers after playing 10 of their last 12 games away from Staples Center. Looking for their third win in a row, the Lakers started the same starting five as they did against Philadelphia.
The Lakers were again without Kobe, Pau Gasol, Nick Young, Xavier Henry, Jordan Farmar, and Jodie Meeks. All are expected to be out until at least after the All-Star Break.
Staples Center was full as usual as the Lakers and Bulls tipped off. The Lakers struggled early falling behind 10-0 while going 0 for 6 from the field. Sacre was finally able to get the lakers on the board at the 7:50 mark. The Lakers continued to struggle on both ends of the court as the Bulls controlled most of the first quarter. The bench came in and added some much needed offense as Chris Kaman had eight first quarter points and Kendall Marshall added four assists. but the defense was still lacking as the Bulls lead 34-23 at the end of the first.
The Lakers trail 34-23 at the end of the first quarter. On the bright side, the Canadian has 6 pts, the Kaveman has 8. Bulls shot 58.3 pct
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 9, 2014
Marshall found Kaman with a beautiful pass for an easy layup to start the quarter for the Lakers. The Lakers offense started to come together as they crawled back within five points half way through the quarter. The Lakers were also able to lock down on the defensive side as they held the Bulls to 18 points in the second quarter.
Chris Kaman led the way for the Lakers as he ended the half with 14 points. However the Lakers struggled protecting the ball once again as they had 10 turnovers that the Bulls converted into six points. The Lakers ended the half on some beautiful passing that led to an easy layup for Jordan Hill and brought themselves within striking distance trailing only 52-46.
The Lakers came out flat to start the quarter as the Bulls went on a quick 5-0 run to extend their lead to double digits. Nash appeared to injure himself at the 8:50 mark and later left for the locker room with what is being called a nerve irritation. The Lakers offense continued to struggle in the third as they scored only six points in the first six minutes.
The Bulls continued to dominate the quarter and built their lead to 17 points with 2:50 left to go. Marshall was able to hit a quick three and Shawne Williams added two free throws after a Johnson block to bring the lead back down to 12. The Bulls continued to control the game and lead at the end of the quarter 77-62.
Steve Nash got hit the same spot where he had the leg fracture and is having nerve irritation. He will be reevaluated tomorrow.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) February 9, 2014
Both teams started the fourth quarter shooting poorly, but Hill was able to convert an and one to start the scoring for the Lakers. Marshall was able to get to the basket and convert after a beautiful fake pass that opened up the lane. The Lakers continued to fight and pulled within 10 after Blake hit a three off another Marshall assist. After the timeout, Kaman continued his strong play and only trailed by six points with less than two minutes remaining. While the Bulls pushed the lead back to eight, Wesley Johnson’s dunk cut the deficit down to four with 48 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, the Lakers had one final chance to get within a basket, but Blake’s pass to Kaman was stolen by Augustin. Augustin converted both free-throws to seal the game for the Bulls and snapped the Lakers’ two game winning streak.
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