The Bulls had been playing well, looking for their first four-game winning streak in forever. But they ran into the champs and could not really compete. Behind the 37 points of Anthony Davis along with a double double from LeBron James, the Lakers raced out to a big lead in the first half and never looked back.
Zach LaVine led the way with 21 points and four Bulls scored in double figures. But the Bulls were poor offensively, turning the ball over 18 times and only scored 33 in the first half. They were cold from the field, shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and were eight of 25 from the three-point line. Despite making a push in the third quarter, the Bulls couldn’t claw their way back to make this a competitive game as LA cruised to a 101-90 victory.
Things got out of hand quickly for the Bulls with Lakers having a dominant first quarter. LA started off the game on a 20-6 run as Chicago, outside of LaVine, struggled to make shots. Foul trouble didn’t help the Bulls either. Daniel Gafford picked up two quick fouls and forced Chicago to go to their bench early. We even go to see Cristiano Felico minutes early in the first quarter.
After missing out on the first matchup earlier this month, it was Anthony Davis who led the way offensively for LA. The big man had 15 points in the first with ten of them coming from inside the paint. In fact, the whole Lakers team found easy shots near the rim in the first as they scored 20 points in the paint. Chicago’s defense really missed Wendell Carter Jr. as LA got any shot they wanted in the paint with three of their first five baskets resulting in dunks.
Meanwhile the Bulls could only muster up 17 points total in the first quarter. LaVine was Chicago’s only source of offense as he himself had eight points, going four of seven from the field. The score at the end of the first quarter wasn’t terrible for Chicago as they only trailed 29-17. Given how much they were outplayed by the Lakers, the Bulls only being down 12 was a blessing for them.
What Chicago needed was a hot start in the second quarter to try and get back in the game. But instead what took place was another run by Los Angeles while the Bulls went cold from the field. The Lakers outscored Chicago 12-2 in the first 4:15 of the second quarter to push their lead to 41-19. Even with the game teetering on the verge of a blowout, the Bulls still couldn’t find any sort of offensive flow. The ball movement which has been a constant throughout the past couple of games wasn’t there at all. Chicago had six assists in the first half and couldn’t make any shots from three either, going 0 of 10 from downtown.
The game officially became a blowout as the seconds winded down in the quarter when Dennis Schroeder’s layup made it a 30 point lead for the visitors. Meanwhile Chicago did worse offensively in the second quarter than they did in the first as they scored a mere 16 points to make it a 63-33 game at halftime.
It was the superstars who led the Lakers in scoring in the first half. Davis had a whopping 26 points while James stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. As expected, LaVine led the way for Chicago with 10 points but the Bulls offense as a whole was rough to watch. They only shot 33 percent percent from the field and looked extremely out of sync.
The Bulls 33 first-half points are the fewest they've scored in the first half of a game since March 5, 2018 (29) against Boston.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) January 24, 2021
Part of it was LA’s defense, but another could have been the fact that the Bulls were on the second game of a back to back. Either way, it wasn’t pretty.
The Bulls were much better in third, scoring 32 points in the quarter alone. Chicago outscored LA 14-2 in a three-minute span to cut the lead all the way down to 13. However, the Bulls still didn’t have an answer for Davis. He scored the Lakers last nine points of the quarter to extend the lead and give them some more breathing room.
Chicago needed another run at the start of the 4th to make this a competitive game but instead didn’t score a point for the first four and a half minutes of the fourth and watched as LA got the lead back up to more than twenty. The Lakers were on cruise control in the fourth with neither LeBron or Davis playing a single minute of the quarter.
Next up for Chicago is a matchup against the Celtics on Monday.