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New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Bulls – Game 31

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (16-15)  |  Chicago Bulls (18-10)


The Los Angeles Lakers fought tooth and nail but came up just short against the Chicago Bulls 115-110.


Lakers vs Bulls
Photo Credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP

The Lakers gave up an early 10-4 run in the first four minutes of the game as DeMar DeRozan, and Javonte Green contributed four points to the score after Nikola Vucevic opened the Bulls‘ scoring with a successful jump shot.

Shortly after, Los Angeles pulled to within one point with points from Russell Westbrook and Isaiah Thomas, but Lonzo Ball answered the run with five straight points to put the Bulls back up by six. Ball sank a mid-range jumper late in the quarter to open up a 10-point Chicago lead. Carmelo Anthony and Westbrook added points to make it a six-point ballgame after one.

In the second quarter, Tony Bradley got the scoring underway with a layup to put Chicago back up by eight. The Lakers began to charge back as two free throws from Anthony, followed by driving points from Westbrook, and LeBron James cut the deficit to two. Green answered with a three but was responded to by a Trevor Ariza three to tie the game at 33.

The Bulls pulled back out after two free throws from DeRozan. Ball nailed a three while Vucevic threw one down to increase the lead to seven again. Los Angeles hovered around the range of trailing by six or eight points throughout most of the quarter until the final minute. Down five, Thomas sank a three to cut the deficit back to two.


A late surge by the Lakers in the second quarter brought them to within two as they trailed 61-59 at the half.


Lakers vs Bulls
Photo Credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP

Three minutes through the third quarter, the Lakers took their first lead as Thomas scored four straight points to go up by three. However, the lead would be short-lived as the Bulls tied it back up and regained the lead on a three from Alex Caruso. James and Anthony responded with five points to go back up by a possession.

Los Angeles maintained their slim lead for most of the third quarter until Caruso kept the fight going for Chicago. After both teams’ tense back-and-forth scoring run, the Lakers carried an 84-83 lead going into the last quarter.

Los Angeles started the fourth quarter with a three-point play from James. Over two minutes passed, and the game went into a tie thanks to a dunk from Coby White. Chicago retook the lead a minute later with a jumper from Ball. At the halfway mark of the quarter, Anthony hit a clutch three to tie the game at 99 and followed it up with another three to break the tie.

The game became nail-bitingly close in the final minutes as the teams were within a point of each other. Shooting became an issue for L.A. in the last minute of the quarter as they could not hit shots they needed while the Bulls took advantage with DeRozan hitting a long jumper to put Chicago back up by one. However, after two intentional foul free throws increased the lead to three, a game-tying three attempt from Wayne Ellington was no good.


A rebound with free throws by Ball ultimately put the game away as the Bulls snatched victory from the Lakers 115-110.


DeRozan led all scorers with 38 points, continuing to be the driving force behind the Bulls and their impressive start to the season. Ball and Vucevic each scored 19 points, while Caruso scored 17 on the night.

James led the Lakers with 31 points, while Anthony added 21 points off the bench. Westbrook scored 20 points, and Thomas scored 13 points with three conversions from downtown.


The Lakers return home Tuesday December 21st to take on the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns. The game will begin at 7:00 and can be seen live on TNT.

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– Matt Dobbs – Franchise Sports Media

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