The Bulls Tuesday were having a day at the beach in the first half that turned into a nightmare in a 103-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Bulls blew a 19-point early third quarter lead in losing. They fell to 3-12. The Lakers are 8-10.
Denzel Valentine led six Bulls in double figures with 17 points. Antonio Blakeney had 15 points off the bench, all in the first half. Robin Lopez had 14 points, Lauri Markkanen had 13 points and 14 rebounds. But Markkanen shot just four of 17. Justin Holiday had 10 points and 10 rebounds and shot two of 12 and Kris Dunn had 12 points and six assists.
It was a new face in the starting lineup with Dunn moving in for Jerian Grant, and the Bulls got some early results with a 27-23 first quarter lead. It was Valentine with 11 points and a trio of three pointers in three attempts that helped. But the Bulls also slowed the Lakers, keeping rookie Lonzo Ball contained and holding the Lakers without a first quarter fast break point. Blakeney had four points entering late in the first quarter. But it was just the beginning for the G-league callup, who carried the Bulls on a 9-3 run to open the second quarter, Blakeney scoring all the points. Grant added a three and then Blakeney punctuated the 14-3 run to open the quarter with a slam dunk over Julius Randle which brought the Bulls bench to their feet and a technical for Blakeney for talking about it. The Bulls from there kept the Lakers in control and led 56-42 at halftime. Blakeney had 15 in the half to lead the Bulls and Lopez 12. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 18 at the half. The Bulls were seven of 14 on threes in the first half and the Lakers five of 18. The Bulls had 16 first half assists.
The Bulls sent the Lakers into a quick third quarter timeout with a 5-0 start for a 61-42 lead. The Lakers attempted to get more into transition. But it was the Lakers defense which began to send the Bulls to more perimeter shots, which weren’t as accurate as earlier. The Lakers sliced their deficit to 69-59 as the Bulls also committed a pair of fouls on three-point shots and were unable to handle the matchup with the Lakers’ Julius Randle, who had eight late third quarter points after a scoreless first half. Randle was taking advantage of his quickness, but the Bulls then didn’t attack the smaller Randle and settled for long jump shots. By the end of the third quarter, the Bulls had give up almost the entire lead. The Bulls led 75-72 entering the fourth quarter. The Bulls shot six of 23 in the third quarter on an excess of long, contested perimeter shots. The Lakers quickly tied the game at 80 less than three minutes into the fourth quarter. The Bulls with eased ahead 89-83 with Dunn making a jumper and finding Bobby Portis inside or a score. But the Bulls reverted to the outside while the Lakers attacked the rim and with an 11-0 run took a 94-89 lead with just over two minutes remaining as the Bulls fired away outside.