After an impressive victory against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday without Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Chicago Bulls on the first game of a back-to-back. Before the start of the game, head coach Byron Scott revealed that Kobe will sit out for the second straight game due to general soreness as Pau Gasol faced his former team for the first time.
Without Kobe Bryant, the Lakers got off to a fairly slow start as they trailed 7-3 to the Bulls after two quick baskets by Derrick Rose. While Los Angeles struggled from the field, Ed Davis provided great energy on both ends of the court with eight rebounds as they were able to stay within reach. After Wayne Ellington’s layup at the buzzer, the Lakers trailed 27-23.
Shooting struggles and lack of defense continued in the second quarter as the bench was unable to take the lead. While both teams went back and forth, the Bulls eventually established a double-digit lead at 43-30 midway through the quarter. Although the Lakers went on a mini-run, the Bulls were able to maintain the lead. At the half, Lakers finished the quarter strong, but still trailed 58-47.
Lakers started the second half with much better energy on both ends, which resulted in seven free throws in the first two minutes as they were able to cut the deficit down to two points. While the Lakers were on the verge of taking the lead, the Bulls were able to maintain their lead as Pau Gasol exploded in the quarter with 21 points and nine rebounds. At the end of three, Lakers trailed 83-77.
After fighting to get back into the game, the Lakers could not maintain their energy on both ends as the Bulls completely controlled the boards. With benches for both teams playing the majority of the quarter, the Bulls extended their lead back to double-digits. While the Lakers tried to make one final push, the Bulls ultimately won 113-93.
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