Chicago Bulls: Season Openers in The Last Five Years

5 of 6

January 29, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) moves the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Lakers center Jordan Hill (27) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2011-12: Lockout-shortened season starts with a bang in L.A. for the Bulls

For the fourth time in the NBA’s history, the league was locked out. The lockout lasted 161 days (July 1, 2011-December 8, 2011), which forced the season to be shortened (66 games).

The season began on Christmas Day and the Chicago Bulls took on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers.

It was the prettiest game in the world (no preseason reps), but the finish was as good as it gets. With the Bulls down 87-86 in the final seconds, Bryant committed a bad turnover and gave the Bulls a chance to win the game.

If you excuse the blatant travel from Luol Deng after the turnover, it’s easy to remember the dagger that Derrick Rose stuck in the city of Los Angeles.

Rose’s contested floater over Gasol gave the Bulls the lead and the win, 88-87. In his first game since becoming the youngest MVP in league history, Rose scored 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting and dished out five assists in the season-opening win for the Bulls.

Next: 2010-11: Bulls get off to sluggish start in Thibodeau's debut