It has been a very disappointing season for the Lakers, but they have won two games in a row and are looking to turn things around. The Lakers beat the Raptors 112-106 in Toronto behind Nick Young’s 29 point performance. The Lakers went to Chicago to take on a tough Bulls squad and they have had their fair share of injuries. Although they are 19-20, they are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and in good shape to make the postseason.
The Lakers started the game out strong. Surprisingly, Ryan Kelly got the Lakers started and got them some quick buckets. The Bulls were able to keep pace with the Lakers and they kept trading baskets throughout the quarter. Protecting the paint continued to be a problem for the Lakers and the Bulls were able to string together a 10-0 run with three minutes left in the quarter. The Bulls were led by Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, each of them had six points a piece. The Lakers were able to maintain the game within reach and Jodie Meeks hit a three to cut the lead to 26-31 at the end of the first quarter.
Nick Young took over at the beginning of the second quarter. He went on a scoring rampage, scoring back to back triples and the Lakers went on a 9-0 run. Young would go on to score eight points and the Lakers could reclaim the lead. D.J. Agustin and Tony Snell would knock down three point shots of their own and grab a one point lead. The Lakers only committed six turnovers in the second quarter, which has been an issue as of late. Simply, Young dominated the quarter and he has 17 points and four rebounds. The Lakers take a 52-49 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was sloppy and both teams were battling with turnovers. The Bulls are known to be a very disciplined team, but they played at a faster pace and at times out of control. Surprisingly, Boozer struggled with Gasol’s length and was not able to impose his will. The Lakers kept the lead until late in the third, the Bulls went on a 7-0 run and grabbed a one point advantage. The game has been fast paced and the Lakers ended the quarter with a 72-69 lead. Gasol has been leading the Lakers on both ends of the court.
The game would continue to go back and forth, neither team could pull away from one another. Once one team made a run, the other team quickly responded. Both teams traded baskets this quarter and it looked like it was going to come down to the last few possessions. Gasol decided to take matters into his own hands by scoring seven points in the final minutes. However, the Bulls took a two-point lead late and Young missed on the next possession. With one final chance to tie the game, Noah fouled Young on a three-point attempt and he would convert on all three free-throws. After a timeout, Noah missed the potential game-winner and both teams headed into overtime.
To start the overtime, Gasol converted on a jumper to give the Lakers a 95-93 lead. After a couple misses, Young finished a three-point play to give the Lakers a five point lead with three minutes remaining. However, a 5-0 run by D.J. Augustin pushed the Bulls’ lead back to two points. Despite the late turnovers, the Lakers had a chance to tie or take the lead with 10 seconds remaining in the game.
After the timeout, Young converted on a jumper to tie the game at 100. With less than a second remaining, Gibson made a layup and the Lakers lost a heartbreak, 102-100.