Many people rolled their eyes when Dwight Howard nicknamed the Los Angeles Lakers bench ‘The Bad News Bears’ but they provided all the bad news the Chicago Bulls could handle.
Trailing by 17 points at the half and 13 going into the fourth, the bench scored the team’s first 27 and held the Bulls to just six in the first nine minutes as they came back for a 118-112 road win. The win was their sixth in a row, which has not happened since 2011.
LeBron James tallied his third straight triple-double with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, but it was the bench who stole the show late.
Dwight Howard and Alex Caruso also provided huge plays especially defensively as they led the charge in turning the tide.
Anthony Davis struggled in his return to his hometown of Chicago with just 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field and for the majority of the game, it looked like the Lakers just didn’t have it.
The first half saw the Lakers struggle mightily with turnovers. Kuzma had three in the second quarter alone and the team had 11 total leading to 17 Bulls points. Coby White was a huge catalyst with 16 first-half points off the bench while Kris Dunn also had three steals to help Chicago pull ahead.
James kept the Lakers in it early with a personal 8-0 run and the Lakers got within four, but the Bulls responded with a 13-0 run of their own to maintain a double-digit lead throughout the rest of the half.
James led the way with 16 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, but Davis shot just 2-of-9 in the first half and the Bulls led by 17 at the midway point.
The third quarter was riddled with sloppy play on both ends. While the Lakers had moments where they looked as if they would make a run, more mental mistakes, missed shots and turnovers haunted them. However, the tide began to turn down the stretch, allowing them a chance in the final period.
That is when the bench took over, bringing a large number of Lakers fans in the United Center to their feet with their effort on both ends of the floor before James and Davis came on to help finish it out. In the end, they outscored the Bulls 38-19 in the fourth.
The Lakers now return home after going 3-0 on the road trip to host one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams in the Miami Heat.