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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Bulls – Game 75 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (37-38) | Chicago Bulls (36-38)


Even with LeBron James returning to the lineup, the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t contain the Chicago Bulls, losing 118-108

The Lakers vs Bulls played at Arena on Sunday.

Lakers vs Bulls LeBron James
Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE/Getty Images

LeBron James had 19 points (6-for-11 FGs, 0-for-2 3s, 7-for-8 FTs), eight boards, and three assists in his return, but the Los Angeles Lakers struggled to contain the Chicago Bulls on the other end of the floor, trailing by as many as 21.

I feel like they were more aggressive than us tonight from the jump,” Troy Brown Jr. said. “Our flow was kind of messed up early on, and that’s hats off to them.”

Chicago’s Zach LaVine spoiled the king’s return with an impressive performance, totaling 32 points (13-of-19 FGs, 2-for-5 3s, 4-for-4 FTs) and four assists. DeMar DeRozan chipped in 17 points (7-for-13 FGs, 2-for-2 3s), six rebounds, and ten assists.

Former Laker Patrick Beverley had fun in this one, as he made a little hook shot with 1:12 left to boost Chicago’s lead back to double digits. Beverley slapped the floor and made the “too small” gesture used by NBA players to taunt their opponents, in this case towards James.

For the first time since injuring his right foot on February 26th, James returned to action against Chicago, precisely one month after sustaining a tendon injury in his right foot. However, in this one, James came off the bench. This was the second game off the bench in James‘ 20 NBA seasons, the first since December 11th, 2007.

LeBron James was back for the first time in a month in the Lakers vs Bulls game.

When the doctors told me I was healing faster than anybody before they’ve seen with the injury,” James said when he knew he would return from his foot injury.

The start of the Lakers vs Bulls’ first half. 

Lakers vs Bulls Zach LaVine and LeBron James
Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

D’Angelo Russell was also sidelined for a second consecutive game because of a sore hip. Even with that, Darvin Ham opted to play Lonnie Walker IV over Rui Hachimura, sacrificing some height that the Lakers could’ve used when they repeatedly lost out on some 50-50 balls.

In addition, several miscues for the Lakers early on disrupted them, including two traveling violations that negated one bucket and led to a Bulls’ layup. Los Angeles started on a 4-0 run, but Chicago answered with a 7-0 push of their own.

James checked in to a standing ovation midway through the first quarter, scoring two points in seven minutes. However, the Bulls shot 66.7 percent. The Lakers’ bench unit also gave up a 7-0 run to start the second quarter, and they trailed Chicago by 10.

The Bulls stretched their lead to 15 points, 52-37, with 6:31 remaining in the second quarter. They capitalized on Los Angeles’ miscues, scoring 15 points off of seven Lakers turnovers. The Bulls bench was a combined 13-for-17 from the field for 31 points, compared to the Lakers’ eight bench points.

The end of the Lakers vs Bulls’ first half. 

The Lakers closed the first half on a 16-4 run after trailing by 20 points. However, Chicago opened the second half on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 17 points, 72-55, with 9:49 left in the third.

The start of the Lakers vs Bulls’ second half. 

Lakers vs Bulls LeBron James and Alex Caruso
Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The Lakers cut into Chicago’s 21-point lead, but Anthony Davis picked up his fourth and fifth fouls late in the third quarter as the Bulls took a 91-78 cushion into the fourth. Chicago outscored Los Angeles 28-23 in the third.

The Bulls controlled Davis (15 points, nine rebounds, five assists) even after Nikola Vucevic was ejected in the second quarter when he argued a call against him.

Back-to-back 3s from DeRozan and the Bulls led by 20 points, 99-79, with 10:11 left, putting the game out of reach. Turnovers killed the Lakers, as they had a total of 18 compared to Chicago’s nine.

Alex Caruso, who started alongside James and Davis in the 2020 Finals, drew charges on both in the second half. 

Los Angeles dropped to 37-38 and is now ninth in the Western Conference. Up next is a rematch with the Bulls on Wednesday.

The final score of the Lakers vs Bulls was 118-108, Chicago. 

The Lakers now rematch the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, March 29th, at 5:00 p.m. PST. The game is on NBA League Pass, NBC Sports Chicago, and Spectrum SportsNet.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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