FINAL FROM THE UNITED CENTER:
Los Angeles Lakers 123, Bulls 107. (Bulls 19-50, 8-27 at home)
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: Lopez: 20pts. Lakers: James: 36pts.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls: Porter Jr: 9. Lakers: McGee: 11.
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls: Dunn: 9. Lakers: Rondo: 10.
CCI RECAP: A terrific start for the Bulls as they opened up a 20 point lead early in to the second quarter but the Lakers turned it on the rest of the way, out scoring the Bulls 107-73 the final three quarters. Despite the numbers, it was only a four point Lakers lead early fourth quarter but LeBron James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope took over and that was the ballgame. James was fabulous with a 36-10-4 game. Kyle Kuzma was terrific in the third quarter scoring 12 of his 21 in the period. Rajon Rondo turned back the clock posting a 14 points 10 assists game.
Robin Lopez once again had his way in the post with an impressive 9 of 14fgs, scoring 20 points and 7 rebounds. Lopez is 13 of his last 20 from the field. He has two-20 points and one-19 points game in his last five.
Lauri Markkanen is struggling and may benefit from a scheduling break as the Bulls don’t play again until Friday. Markkanen is shooting 36% from the field the past five games and 6 of 31 beyond the arc in that span. He has gone six straight games without scoring 20 points.
Kris Dunn snapped out of a mini slump with his first double figure scoring game in his last five contests. Dunn recorded an 18-7-9 game.
Zach LaVine missed his second straight game with a right patellar tendon strain. He is listed day to day.
The loss mathematically eliminated the Bulls from post season play for the second straight season.
CCI IN THE LOCKER ROOM: Coach Boylen: "I had a feeling LeBron was going to come in and play some good basketball, and he was terrific...I'm disappointed in our turnovers. Transition is how they scored on us."
Bulls vs. Lakers game recap
UP NEXT: AT Los Angeles Clippers, Friday.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Indiana 103, New York 98. The Knicks have lost seven straight.
Philadelphia 107, Cleveland 99. Ben Simmons scored 26 and dished out 10 assists. Joel Embiid hauled in 19 rebounds and scored 17 points.
Milwaukee 130, New Orleans 113. The Bucks scored 45-third quarter points and that was all Milwaukee needed. A positive note for NOLA: Elfrid Payton had his second consecutive triple-double.
Denver 133, Minnesota 107. The Nuggets tallied a season high 40 assists. Denver is only 5-4 since the All Star break. Minnesota is fading from the playoff picture.
Portland 125, Los Angeles Clippers 104. Portland’s CJ McCollum went 12 of 14 from the floor after missing his first seven shots. All told, 35 points for one of the best guards in the NBA. The Blazers and Thunder are tied for the fourth spot in the rugged Western Conference.
San Antonio 112, Dallas 105. Will the Mavs win another game? They’ve lost six straight and 11 of 12 games. The Spurs have won six straight.
The Utah Jazz permanently banned a fan saying in a statement that “there is no place in our game for personal attacks or disrespect.” The NBA fined Russell Westbrook 25-thousand dollars for profanity and threatening language to a fan. My opinion...I think the Jazz are 100% correct in their decision. The hatred must stop.