GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER: Los Angeles Lakers (30-36, 12-20 on the road) at Bulls: (19-49, 8-26 at home)
TV: NBC Sports Chicago: Neil Funk and Stacey King: 7PM tip.
RADIO: 670 The Score: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington and Steve Kashul: 6:45 CT pre.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: LaVine: 23ppg. Lakers: James: 27ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Markkanen: 9 per. Lakers: James: 8 per.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 6 per. Lakers: James: 8 per.
SEASON SERIES: Lakers 1-0
The Bulls are back home briefly for one game before embarking on a three game road trip. The Bulls have lost four of the last five games; the Lakers have dropped seven of eight.
The Bulls have struggled of late giving up big scoring quarters to opponents. Head Coach Jim Boylen continues to stress for consistency and productive play from his bench. But with Denzel Valentine, Chandler Hutchison and Wendell Carter Jr. sidelined with injuries it’s very difficult to establish bench performance on a nightly basis.
Zach LaVine is listed as doubtful with a patellar tendon strain.
LeBron James first tour of duty with a Western Conference team has been a rocky road. He missed seventeen games with a groin injury and was in the center of a storm that focused on the possibility of Anthony Davis joining him in LA. There have been several published stories quoting “NBA sources” that James is unhappy with Head Coach Luke Walton. The Lakers are scaling back James’ minutes so how much we see of him depends on whether it’s competitive game. He’s having an outstanding season of 27-8-8 but at 34, the grind of playing 1,191 regular season games, 239 playoff games and Olympic ball is starting to take a toll. He’s been called out for his lack of energy on the defensive side of the ball. He’s not the only player that doesn’t run back on defense but James at times looks disengaged from his team; a team that James had a hand in putting together.
Brandon Ingram is sidelined for the rest of the season and his health is first and foremost the concern of the organization as Ingram is dealing with a blood clot in his arm. Lonzo Ball,according to several reports is sidelined for the rest of the season with a bone bruise related to a sprained ankle. Kyle Kuzma is dealing with an ankle issue. Lance Stephenson has a toe injury and is questionable. Tyson Chandler missed Saturday’s game with a neck injury and is questionable.
33 year old Andre Ingram who played the last two games of the season a year ago was recalled by the Lakers. He is an 11 year G-League veteran who is the league’s all time leading three point scorer.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Los Angeles Clippers 140, Boston 115. Lou Williams scored 34 points and passed Dell Curry to become the career leader in points off the bench. Jayson Tatum did not play due to right shoulder soreness.
Oklahoma City 98, Utah 89. Russell Westbrook got into a disturbing verbal altercation early in the second quarter and it overshadowed the game itself.
Cleveland 126, Toronto 101. Marquese Chriss and Serge Ibaka got in to it. Both were ejected for throwing punches. Every Cavs starter scored in double figures. Kevin Love with a 16-18 game. The Cavs improved to 17-50.
Brooklyn 103, Detroit 75. The Pistons 27.8 FG% was the lowest by any team in a game since Memphis shot 27.1% at Golden State on 11/2/15. After two impressive outings against the Bulls, Blake Griffin went 1-10 from the field and post a - 20. The Nets have won four straight. The Pistons had their five game win streak come to an end. Brooklyn departs for seven straight on the road.
Houston 118, Charlotte 106. Kemba Walker was a stat stuffer: 40-10-7 but his Hornets fell to 30-37 as Houston won its ninth straight.
Washington 121, Sacramento 115. Bobby Portis scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Bradley Beal 27-9-9. Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley remains sidelined with a left knee sprain.