Lakers Pull Away In Fourth Quarter To Beat Bulls, Win Fifth Straight

The Lakers have beaten the Bulls seven straight times.

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Lakers 98, Bulls 91: Brown, Odom, Kobe Lead Lakers To Victory

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Shannon Brown and Lamar Odom each scored 21 points and Kobe Bryant chipped in 20, as the Los Angeles Lakers used a big run in the fourth quarter to down the Chicago Bulls, 98-91. Pau Gasol recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who made 10 three-pointers en route to their fifth straight win.

Derrick Rose carried Chicago with 30 points, eight assists and five boards, but the Bulls couldn't halt their six-game skid against the defending champions. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson each logged double-doubles, with the former totaling 19 points and 13 rebounds, and the latter notching 16 and 12.

It was a one-possession game in the early stages of the fourth quarter until the Lakers began to pull away behind a 17-2 run that featured four three- pointers. Brown made one for an 82-81 lead to start the spurt, Steve Blake made a pair from long range, and Gasol's 1-for-2 showing at the foul line resulted in a 96-83 game with 4 1/2 minutes to play.

Chicago got as close as 96-89, but Kyle Korver missed a three-point try with just over a minute left prior to Gasol's putback at the other end, essentially clinching the Lakers' victory. Brown drained one from long range just prior to the first-quarter buzzer to tie the game, 26-26, then scored 15 points in the second stanza to help the Lakers take a 51-49 lead into the break.

LA scored the first eight points of the third quarter, but the Bulls slowly chipped away at the deficit and trailed just 74-73 heading to the final frame. The Bulls fell to 2-2 on a seven-game road trip...Luol Deng netted 13 points for Chicago...Odom also grabbed eight rebounds...Both teams shot 39.5 percent from the floor, but the Lakers made 24-of-27 free throws, compared to Chicago's 19-of-26 effort.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Bulls: Taj Gibson A Game-Time Decision For Chicago

The Los Angeles Lakers tonight will look for their seventh straight win over the Chicago Bulls, as the two division leaders do battle at Staples Center. Former USC Trojan Taj Gibson has missed practice the last two days, and is listed as questionable tonight. Here are the probable starting lineups and injury reports for both teams:

Bulls

Point Guard: Derrick Rose

Shooting Guard: Keith Bogans

Small Forward: Luol Deng

Power Forward: Taj Gibson

Center: Joakim Noah

Carlos Boozer, who hasn't yet played this season, is still out recovering from surgery on his right hand. Gibson is listed as questionable with a right ankle injury, and will be a game time decision.

Lakers

Point Guard: Derek Fisher

Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant

Small Forward: Ron Artest

Power Forward: Lamar Odom

Center: Pau Gasol

The usual suspects, Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff, are out, obviously, and Odom is listed as probable with a sore right foot. That seems like more of a formality than anything, since Odom will play. Tonight's 7:30 p.m. game will be televised by Fox Sports West.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Are Off To One Of Best Starts In Franchise History

The Los Angeles Lakers ran roughshod through their opponents last week, winning all four of their games, by an average margin of victory of over 17 points per game. They stand at 12-2 heading into their game tonight at Staples Center hosting the Chicago Bulls. The 12-2 record just happens to be one of the best starts to a season in Lakers franchise history.

There have only been two starts better than this season for the Lakers through 14 games. The 2001-2002 team was 13-1, on their way to starting 16-1, and the 2008-2009 squad was also 13-1 on their way to a 14-1 start. Here are the best two-loss records in Lakers franchise history:

Best 2-Loss Starts In Lakers History
Year Record   Season Result
1985-1986 19-2   lost Conf Finals
2008-2009    
17-2   NBA Champs
2001-2002 16-2   NBA Champs
1997-1998 15-2   lost Conf Finals
1961-1962 15-2   lost NBA Finals
2010-2011 12-2   ???
1986-1987 12-2   NBA Champs

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Host Bulls In Battle Of Division Leaders At Staples Center

It is a battle of division leaders tonight at Staples Center as the Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Lakers host the Central Division kingpin Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, under new head coach Tom Thibodeau, have won five of their last six games, and are 7-4 on the season. They are in the middle -- literally, as in game number four of seven -- of a long road trip, and will have gone 18 days in between home games when they finally return to United Center next week.

The Lakers must be wondering who will have the perfect shooting night tonight. Last Friday in Minnesota, Matt Barnes made all seven field goal attempts, scoring 24 points, and Derek Fisher made all five of his shots, scoring 12. Then, Sunday night at home against the Warriors, Pau Gasol became the fifth Laker ever to make 10 shots without a miss in a blowout win over the Warriors. On Sunday, Gasol had 28 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, making him just the third NBA player of the shot clock era (since 1954) to amass at least 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists while not missing a shot. The others were Gary Payton (32-5-6, 14-for-14 FG in January 1995) and Charles Barkley (31-7-6, 10-for-10 FG in March 1989).

Third-year point guard Derrick Rose is having a breakout season for the Bulls. He is fifth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 25.5 points per game, and eighth in the league with 8.3 assists per contest. Joakim Noah is second in the league in rebounding, averaging 13.3 boards per game. Former USC Trojan Taj Gibson has been playing well for the Bulls, but the starting power forward (with Carlos Boozer out) missed practice on Sunday and Monday with a pinched nerve in his right foot, per the Chicago Sun-Times, and is a game-time decision tonight.

The Lakers have beaten the Bulls six straight times, with their last loss coming December 19, 2006. The Lakers have won seven of their last eight contests at home against Chicago, and are 9-2 all-time against the Bulls at Staples Center. Head coach Phil Jackson is 15-5 against his former team. Tonight's 7:30 p.m. PST game will be televised by Fox Sports West.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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