Anthony Davis enjoyed a successful homecoming as he broke out from an offensive rut and the Los Angeles Lakers used a big first half to defeat the Chicago Bulls 101-90. L.A. swept the season series and improved to 9-0 on the road in the process.
Davis carried the Lakers offensively to begin the game, scoring 13 of the team’s first 16 points to give them an early advantage. Defensively, Los Angeles was locked in on rotations and contesting shots, limiting the Bulls to only six points through the midway point of the quarter.
Los Angeles had a 14-point lead, but Zach LaVine was able to keep Chicago from getting too far behind and brought it back within eight before Davis nailed a midrange jumper. LeBron James drained a tough fadeaway before the period was over and the Lakers went into the second up 29-17.
Talen Horton-Tucker was a spark off the bench, attacking the paint for layups and earning free throws, while defensively he was solid and drew a charge. James was also engaged on both ends, quarterbacking the defense and forcing his way to the basket to extend the Laker lead to 22.
Davis re-entered the game and picked up where he left off, hitting from the perimeter and preventing the Bulls from ever making a run. A pair of Davis triples and free throws from James had the purple and gold leading Chicago 63-33 at the half.
It was a bit of a sloppy start to the third as the Lakers committed turnovers and settled for poor shots but still maintained their large lead. Despite a timeout from head coach Frank Vogel, L.A. continued to play unfocused basketball and gave Chicago a bit of life.
The Bulls were able to capitalize on turnovers and get the deficit within a decent margin. Chicago closed the third on an 18-9 run, but Los Angeles still led 83-66.
The bench unit steadied the Lakers as they got back to playing strong defense and moving the ball offensively. The Bulls went nearly the first five minutes of the fourth without scoring, and the Lakers were able to cruise to a win.
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