The Los Angeles Lakers' two-game winning streak game to a screeching halt Sunday in a 92-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Another loss to toss into the pile for the season, this time with the Bulls beating the Lakers wire-to-wire. Zero lead changes as the Bulls pulled ahead early in the first quarter after the Lakers struggled to score.
The Lakers made a fourth quarter run at the Bulls and chipped into the Bulls 19-point lead throughout the final frame but couldn't put it all together. The Lakers cut the lead down to four and had a chance to make it a single-possession game, but Steve Blake tried to thread the needle through too tight a window and the Bulls drained both free-throws on the other end to put the game out of question.
Now for the usual bad news.
One day after turning 40 Steve Nash's nerve irritation problem flared up again. He left the game during the third quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest after returning to the locker room. The team is expected to reevaluate Nash on Monday. The same leg that Nash broke last season made contact with Kirk Hinrich and Nash immediately started limping. It wasn't long after that the team pulled him.
Par the course, the Lakers struggled with turnovers and rebounding. The team coughed up the rock 18 times and had just seven offensive rebounds as a team. They didn't have any offensive rebounds through the first half. Minimal second chance opportunities and far too many wasted possessions is bad news.
Chris Kaman put up a solid game off the bench, though. He notched game-highs in scoring and rebounding with 27 points and 10 boards. His scoring total was his season-high and just two points shy of his career-high of 29 points. This game wasn't pretty, and Kaman had his own issues turning the ball over three times, but he showed off the scoring proficiency that's kept him floating around the league for years. Some stepbacks, some post moves, some numbers on the board.
The Lakers are off until Tuesday when they host the Utah Jazz. The team still has five games at Staples Center until hitting the road again on Feb. 25.
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