There was only one game in the NBA tonight, and for the most of the game, the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to forget they were a part of it.
The Chicago Bulls, proud owners of the third-worst record in the league and winless against the Western Conference, dominated the first half and built a 19-point lead in the third quarter until Los Angeles finally woke up. The Lakers outscored the Bulls 50-26 over the final 18 minutes to earn their second straight victory, 103-94.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the way for the Lakers, scoring 21 points to go along with nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was part of the lineup that brought the team to within three at the end of the third quarter, then came back in halfway through the fourth to lead the final comeback. Once Brandon Ingram tied the game at 89, Caldwell-Pope scored the next eight points for Los Angeles to secure the win.
Kyle Kuzma continued his strong scoring run, leading the team with 22 points. He was seemingly the only source of offense in the first half as the rest of the Lakers laid a collective egg.
Los Angeles was listless from the jump, but the wheels really started to come off in the second quarter. The bench had one of its weakest stretches of the season to start the second quarter, leading Luke Walton to substitute his entire starting lineup just four minutes into the period, only for the Lakers to immediately be called for a five-second violation on the inbounds play.
Antonio Blakeney provided a scoring punch for the Bulls with 15 points off the bench. All five Chicago starters also scored in double figures, but the Bulls offense only managed 38 points in the second half.
The much-ballyhooed matchup between the Lopez twins swung in Robin’s favor for most of the contest. The younger Lopez shot 7-for-11 for 14 points while Brook struggled for 4 points on 2-of-9 shooting. Nevertheless, Brook Lopez was the only brother to score in the fourth quarter, and the elder twin took home the win for the Lakers.