LeBron and Lakers too much for Bulls in the fourth quarter

The Bulls lost their second-straight game falling victim to the Lakers 118-112. Los Angeles rallied back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

The Chicago Bulls lost 118-112 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night in the United Center. LeBron James finished with his third-straight triple-double en route to the Lakers’ sixth-straight win. The Bulls have now lost two straight and will travel to Atlanta overnight for a back-to-back with the Hawks.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls in scoring with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting and Otto Porter Jr. contributed 18 points all coming in the first three quarters. Chicago gave Los Angeles problems in the first half before the Lakers stormed back in the fourth quarter and took their first lead with 8:53 remaining. It was their first lead since mid-way through the first quarter.

Quinn Cook hit an and-one three to put L.A. ahead and Jim Boylen had to motion to his men to calm down. Cook later hit another three-point dagger with 6:08 remaining to put them up 104-97. Chicago started the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead making this the fourth game that they’ve blown a fourth-quarter lead. The Lakers opened the fourth quarter on a 26-4 run.

Anthony Davis made his return to Chicago where he’s been dominant with the Pelicans but didn’t make much of an impact. He finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in 31 minutes. The Lakers second-half run was made mostly without Davis, who was in foul trouble for the most part. The Lakers’ role players Quinn Cook (17 pts), Kyle Kuzma (15 pts), and JaVale McGee (10 pts) really stepped up and made up for the first half. James looked for his teammates late and often exploited the Bulls’ lackluster defense en route to his team-highs of 30 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds.

The Lakers entered the game number one in defensive efficiency and defensive rating and they showed why tonight. The Lakers defense allowed them to go on runs starting after halftime when the Bulls led 65-48. The second quarter was where the Bulls had something to marvel at and Coby White was a huge part of that.

Kris Dunn had an impressive offensive effort going 4-of-5 from field goal for nine points, but foul trouble (5) kept him at 17 minutes. Lauri Markkanen was a non-factor going 2-of-8 from the field and adding three turnovers and a -12 plus/minus rating. He struggled to stop LeBron and Wendell Carter Jr. didn’t do much to help the Bulls defensive efforts finishing with a team-worst -16 plus/minus.

Chicago falls to 2-6 on the season and coming into the Lakers game were bottom-five in three-point percentage (26th), field goal percentage (28th), and rebounds (29th).

Next: Player grades from the gut-wrenching loss

The Bulls will play at 7:30 ET tomorrow night against the Hawks for their second back-to-back of the season. They lost to Toronto 108-84 in their last back-to-back. The Hawks are 3-3 and just got Trae Young back who scored 29 points and 13 assists in his return.

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