(Ty Nowell/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers Rally From 20-Point Deficit in Win Over Bulls
It took the worst quarter of the Lakers’ season to snap them out of their longest losing streak.
A disastrous opening frame put L.A. in a 20-point hole, but the purple and gold found their mojo, completing a 36-point turnaround for a 123-107 victory in Chicago.
“In this day and age of social media, everybody’s so tight and tense about playing basketball,” Kyle Kuzma said. “In general as basketball players, we just need to try to have fun. Play the game like we did when we were kids, high school, college.”
Kuzma certainly played his part, pitching in 21 points, mostly by getting into the paint off the dribble and in transition. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also had 24 points — more than his last seven games combined — and four 3-pointers, but the night belonged to LeBron James.
Like his teammates, James had a quiet first quarter, tallying only two points. However, he had plenty left in his reserves, finishing with 36 points and 10 rebounds in only 33 minutes.
LeBron hit 15 shots and missed only eight, while putting on a one-man firework show in the second half. He threw down a couple of ridiculous reverse slams — one off a full-court bounce pass from Kuzma and the other off the glass from Josh Hart.
After scoring a season-low 16 points in the first quarter, the Lakers (31-36) suddenly couldn’t miss, racking up 82 in the second and third combined.
The Lakers outscored Chicago (19-50) by 32 points in those middle frames.
LeBron, KCP and Kuzma (who missed the previous two games with an ankle injury) were key, while Rajon Rondo (14 points, 10 assists) and JaVale McGee (10 points, 11 rebounds) added double-doubles, helping to snap L.A.’s five-game losing streak.
“It’s been a while, so I’m happy for the guys,” coach Luke Walton said. “I know they feel good. I’m happy with the way they chose to re-engage and fight. … That’s how you want to start out a long road trip.”
Andre Ingram, signed to a 10-day contract, played two minutes in his return to the Lakers. … L.A. shot 54.7 percent from the field. … The Lakers had a 28-10 advantage in fast-break points. … Robin Lopez (20 points) and Kris Dunn (18 points, nine assists) led Chicago.
Welcome back, Andre pic.twitter.com/EO1wL57P0I— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 13, 2019