Notebook: Bulls 95, Lakers 83



Posted Jan 22, 2013 1:42 AM

Kent McDill, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Led by Kirk Hinrich's 22 points, the host Chicago Bulls sent the Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth consecutive road loss, 95-83, Monday in a spirited nationally televised game. Marco Belinelli came off the bench to add 15 points for the Bulls, who led all but about one minute of the game. Steve Nash led the Lakers with 18 points, while Kobe Bryant was 7-for-22 from the field and missed all six 3-pointers he attempted to finish with 16 points, ending his 24-game streak of games with at least 20 points.

THE FACTS II: The Bulls were outscored from the free throw line 16-8, and were outrebounded by 10, 50-40. But the Bulls took 12 more shots in the game and outscored the Lakers from 3-point range 27-9.

QUOTABLE: "We're going the wrong way."

-- Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni after being asked about his goal to have the team score 105 points per game

THE STAT: Playing in place of injured starting forward Luol Deng, second-year forward Jimmy Butler played a game-high 43 minutes, scored 10 points with eight rebounds, four assists and no turnovers while defending Bryant the entire game.

THE STAT II: Lakers center Dwight Howard played 30 minutes and attempted just five shots, making two, to finish with eight points. Joakim Noah, playing inspired basketball after being benched noticeably in the loss to Memphis on Saturday, had a season-high six blocked shots and a game-high 13 rebounds in 35 minutes.

THE STAT III: The Lakers attempted 12 free throws in the first half, making seven, while the Bulls had only two, making just one.

TURNING POINT: After the Lakers took their first lead of the game, 69-67, late in the third quarter, the teams played to a 75-75 tie midway through the fourth quarter. The Bulls then scored 14 of the next 18 points, led by Belinelli and Hinrich.

INJURY UPDATE: Deng is expected to miss the rest of this week with his strained right hamstring. Before the game, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau announced that point guard Derrick Rose could begin to participate in full-contact practices later this week.

ROTATION CHANGE: D'Antoni announced before the game that Earl Clark would start at power forward for the foreseeable future, moving Pau Gasol to the bench despite Gasol's 25 points in the loss at Toronto on Sunday. Gasol had 15 points and 12 rebounds as a reserve Monday while Clark had 12 points and eight boards. The Lakers are 2-3 with Clark starting.

HOT: Hinrich had his season high in points, and made nine of 11 shots while providing seven rebounds and eight assists with only one turnover in 33 minutes. It was the best shooting night of his nine-year career when taking at least 10 shots.

NOT: Bryant is 17-for-54 (31.4 percent) from the field in the two games on this road trip.

QUOTABLE II: "He had an off-night."

-- Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, shrugging off praise for forcing Bryant into a poor shooting game.

GOOD MOVE: Before Saturday's game, Thibodeau said he had numerous options to replace Deng, but Butler seems to be the right choice, both offensively and defensively.

BAD MOVE: Deng is the league leader in minutes played per game at 39.8, and Thibodeau gets criticized for it from time to time. But apparently he likes playing his small forward most of the game, as Butler sat for just 4:31 of the game.

NOTABLE: The Bulls avoided overtime for the first time in the last four games. ... After Bulls backup center Nazr Mohammed got a technical foul for getting tangled up with Howard, Howard had a lengthy conversation with Thibodeau, perhaps to discuss the strategy of cajoling Howard into another technical foul. ... The Lakers, 5-14 on the road this season, play seven of their next 10 games on the road.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, Wednesday vs. Detroit, Friday vs. Golden State, Saturday @ Washington. For the Lakers, Wednesday @ Memphis, Friday vs. Utah, Sunday vs. Oklahoma City Sunday.