LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lonzo Ball scored 19 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 17 and the Los Angeles Lakers won for just the fourth time since LeBron James‘ groin injury, beating the reeling Chicago Bulls 107-100 on Tuesday night.
Ball, who also had eight rebounds and six assists, scored 13 points during the second half as Los Angeles was able to break open what was a close game for the first 28 minutes. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma scored 16 apiece.
The game was tied at 48 with 9:24 remaining in the third quarter when the Lakers took control with eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Ball. The Bulls got within 72-68 on a 3-pointer by Wayne Seldon, but the Lakers pulled away again with six straight points to end the third and start the fourth.
Los Angeles’ lead grew to 94-76 with 4:26 remaining in the game before Chicago made a late flurry to get within 103-98 in the final minute.
The Lakers are 4-7 since James was injured in a Dec. 25 game at Golden State.
Lakers coach Luke Walton changed his starting lineup, putting Tyson Chandler at center and Caldwell-Pope at guard while moving JaVale McGee and Josh Hart to the bench. Both teams struggled shooting from the floor in the first quarter, but the Lakers held a 19-18 lead, marking the first time in eight games they led after the first 12 minutes.
Los Angeles held a 44-43 lead at halftime as the first half saw 22 lead changes and five ties. The Bulls led 30-24 with 7:48 remaining in the second quarter before the Lakers scored seven straight points to take the lead.
Bulls: Chicago’s 8 of 28 from the field in the first quarter was its second-worst opening 12 minutes of the season. It was 8 of 29 in a Dec. 26 loss to Minnesota.
Lakers: Kuzma also had 12 rebounds as he recorded his third double-double of the season. … The Lakers were 2 of 15 on 3-pointers in the first half but 6 of 11 in the second half, which included three from Ball.
Bulls: Conclude their five-game road trip against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Lakers: Travel to Oklahoma City on Thursday night for the second of three meetings against the Thunder.
Source: Fox Sports