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Bulls blow out Lakers in Las Vegas Summer League opener

The Lakers opened up their tournament in Sin City with a loss to the Windy City Bulls.

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2019 Las Vegas Summer League - Day 1 - Los Angeles Lakers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to capitalize on the momentum they built with back-to-back wins at the California Classic and lost their Las Vegas Summer League opener to the Chicago Bulls, 96-76, Friday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

While the Lakers were able to hold No. 7 overall pick Coby White to 17 points on a lowly 33.3 percent shooting from the field, they were less successful containing this year’s No. 38 pick Daniel Gafford, who scored a game-high 21 points on an impressive 90 percent shooting from the field. Head coach Miles Simons’ undersized frontcourt had no answer for the athletic, 6’11” center, who grabbed 10 rebounds and swatted away four shots.

Chicago also got a pair of nice outings from Shaquille Harrison and Chandler Hutchinson, who contributed a combined 29 points. However, one could argue Chicago only looked so impressive because the Lakers player so poorly.

“The game could’ve tilted one way or the other if we had taken care of the ball or made free throws,” said Lakers summer league head coach Miles Simon. “I think our energy just kind of came in waves or spurts tonight. Maybe some of that was fatigue, it was our fourth game in five nights, plus three days of training camp. But our guys fought really, really hard.”

Outside of Devontae Cacok, who posted yet another double-double on Friday, the Lakers had a hard time getting their shots to fall. Veteran point guard Joe Young was particularly woeful, scoring 0 points on 10 attempts from the field. As a team, the Lakers shot an abysmal 29.6 percent from the field.

The Lakers will have an opportunity bounce back on Saturday against Staples Center roommates, the LA Clippers. Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m. PT at the Thomas & Mack Center.

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