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Game Thread #9: Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers(Update below)

Big game tonight before going to Texas.

The Lakers have a front line that even the Bulls can take advantage of, although Kwame Brown always seems to have good games against the Bulls.(EDIT: Kwame is out with a hamstring pull.) NBA journeyman Smush Parker has been a revelation at point guard, but is still prone to turnovers.

But they still have that Kobe guy. and Lamar Odom. Who guards either? Perhaps Eddie Basden gets his defensive reputation tested and can make sure Kirk Hinrich doesn't get worn out (or fouled out) while guarding Kobe. And for Odom (who's usually the ballhandler in the triangle offense), I'm not sure Nocioni can stay with him, unless the refs allow him to clutch and grab his way all game.

Blogging with the Enemy: Forum Blue and Gold

No predictions, its tough to figure which Bulls team I'm going to see on a given night. I expect Mike Sweetney to continue to put up big numbers, and maybe this will be the game Tyson Chandler gets his season going. The Lakers (and most importantly Kobe) are banged up so an actual good effort by the Bulls could work wonders. Haven't seen much of that this road trip though.

UPDATE: I really thought this would be another 2nd half collapse like the game in Seattle, and was pretty disgusted after two turnovers early in the 4th.

But Duhon and Hinrich went on a 3 point barrage that was only partially matched by the Lakers in the closing minutes.

The Bulls front line overpowered the Lakers all game, with Sweetney performing well yet again getting 20pts, 12 rebs, and shooting 50%. Sweetney slowed later in the game, but like the win versus the Warriors a couple weeks ago he had a play drawn for him late and again he drew a foul. Tyson Chandler had a huge block in the final minutes as well, capping his best game of the season with 15 rebounds and 6 points.

The Lakers stayed close on the back of Kobe Bryant, who was making some ridiculous shots on his way to 43 points. They also went to the foul line 32 times as opposed to 18 for the Bulls.

But it was Duhon down the stretch, who literally assumed the Ben Gordon role(who sat during the Bulls final run) and landed 5-7 from 3 to give the Bulls a much needed victory.

A few days off before going to San Antonio on Friday. Too early to say games are must-wins, but it sure feels nice to stop the losing streak before heading to Texas. ::wipes forehead::

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