Lakers look to start new streak in clash with Bulls

NBA

The Los Angeles Lakers will play the second end of back-to-back contests when they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

They will be shooting for their seventh consecutive victory over Chicago, one day after struggling in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

On Thursday, the Lakers had their four-game winning streak snapped with the 118-109 setback to San Antonio. LeBron James had 27 points, 12 assists and six rebounds and Anthony Davis finished with 23 points, 10 boards and three blocks for Los Angeles. Kyle Kuzma added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lakers never led. They tied the score late in the third quarter before the Spurs took command in the final period. Los Angeles outshot San Antonio 50 percent to 46.7 percent from the floor but fell victim to the Spurs’ 3-point shooting. San Antonio converted 16 of 35 3-point attempts (45.7 percent) to 10 of 30 (33.3 percent) for the Lakers.

The Lakers were trying to defeat the Spurs for the third consecutive time in the past nine days after capturing a pair of wins last week at San Antonio.

“It’s a hard thing to come off a road trip and the first game is always tough but when you have a team you just beat twice in their building you’ve got to be motivated,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We just didn’t play well enough to get over that hurdle.”

A slow start, trailing by as much as 15 points in the first quarter, also didn’t help.

“We played a really poor defensive first half,” Vogel said. “But when we did make the right coverages, they hit tough shots. Give them credit. They played a terrific basketball game. They really shot the ball well and they made us pay for any type of mistakes, LaMarcus Aldridge in particular had a spectacular game.”

The Bulls dropped a 128-124 decision at Sacramento to the Kings on Wednesday. Coby White scored a career-high 36 points with seven assists and Zach LaVine contributed 32 points. Wendell Carter Jr. grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds, six on the offensive end, to go along with 11 points. Garrett Temple also scored 11.

White, the Bulls’ first-round pick out of North Carolina in 2019, is averaging 18.6 points, 5.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.

“It’s cool but we didn’t get the win, so it’s like it doesn’t matter to me,” White said regarding his performance. “We couldn’t get the win tonight and that’s the most important thing coming out of this game, wins and losses. … That’s what point guards are judged by, wins and losses.”

Chicago shot 52.7 percent from the floor compared to 51.6 percent for Sacramento. But 16 turnovers by the Bulls to seven for the Kings hurt them.

A four-point play late in the game by Kings guard Buddy Hield and a 3-pointer by rookie Tyrese Haliburton sunk Chicago.

“I thought we struggled shooting. I know we shot 52 percent but I thought we had a lot of good looks we didn’t make and I think coming down the stretch they made really, really, really made some timely threes,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “Certainly Hield’s four-point play was big.”

–Field Level Media

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