LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: Ronnie Brewer #11 of the Chicago Bulls celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 88-87 at Staples Center on December 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Lakers Vs. Bulls: Tough Breaks In Final Seconds Lead To 88-87 Lakers Loss

Kobe Bryant had 28 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in the loss.

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The NBA on Christmas Day: Lakers' Loss Still Scores Big On The Ratings Scale

The NBA came back yesterday and TVs everywhere rejoiced.

The ratings for the five-game Christmas Day slate came back today with the games matching or surpassing some of their predecessors that were placed in the same position in previous years.

The Los Angeles Lakers 88-87 loss to the Chicago Bulls on ABC drew an overnight rating of 6.5. Only last year's Lakers game against the Miami Heat (7.3) and a 2004 Lakers-Heat matchup pitting Kobe Bryant against Shaquille O'Neal (7.9) had higher ratings for ABC.

The much-anticipated debut of Chris Paul with the Los Angeles Clippers was the last game of the evening but it dwarfed the numbers put up by last season's game in the same spot in the Christmas lineup. The Clippers 105-86 win over the Golden State Warriors drew a 2.3 overnight rating, up 77 percent over last year's game between the Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers and marked the highest-rated Christmas prime-time game for ESPN.


Lakers Vs. Bulls Final Score: Luol Deng, Derrick Rose Lead Bulls To 88-87 Win [VIDEO]

The NBA season finally kicked off on Sunday. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Chicago Bulls and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose at the Staples Center for a Christmas Day showdown. The game was a hard-fought contest to kick off the season in a big way. After trailing early in the game against a strong Bulls team,the Lakers took the lead late in the third quarter and held on to it until the final four seconds of the game, before ending up on the losing end.

The Bulls trailed throughout much of the first quarter but went on a late run and held a 22-20 lead at the first break. They opened up an even bigger gap, leading 56-49 at halftime as they went on a tear at the end of the second quarter. In the third quarter, the Lakers turned it around and came from behind on a late run, entering the final quarter holding a slim 69-68 lead. Every quarter seemed to end with a huge, eventful drive by one of the teams and the fourth quarter was no exception.

The Lakers held a 87-81 lead with 0:54 left on the clock, before everything fell apart. Luol Deng drove for a layup and drew the personal foul from Pau Gasol with just 45 seconds left in the game to close the gap to 87-84. Kobe Bryant missed a fadeaway jumper, drawing a foul as he and Deng battled for the rebound. Deng sank both free throws and the game was 87-86 in favor of Los Angeles with 0:20 remaining. Luol Deng managed a steal on a pass bad pass from Bryant intended for Pau Gasol. Derrick Rose got the ball off of the steal and managed to sink a jumper to put the Bulls on top for the first time in the quarter, 88-87 with just 4.8 seconds left.

To no one's surprise, Kobe was given the ball, but Deng blocked a short jump-shot as time expired. The Bulls picked up the first win of the season, while the Lakers took the loss.

Bryant led all scorers with 28 points, going 11-for-23 with seven rebounds and eight assists. Pau Gasol picked up 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Point guard Steve Blake also had a big game, finishing with 12 points and three rebounds.

Rose and Deng led the Bulls offense. Rose finished with 22 points and five assists. Deng scored 21 points, including 6-for-6 on free throws, as well as picking up seven rebounds, three assists and four steals.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Lakers, please visit Silver Screen and Roll. For full coverage of the Chicago Bulls, head on over to Blog a Bull.


Lakers Vs. Bulls: Kobe Bryant Has 22 Points As Lakers Lead 69-68 Heading Into Fourth Quarter

The Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls are kicking the 2011-12 NBA season off in a big way at the Staples Center with a back-and-forth, hotly contested game. Heading into the final quarter, The Lakers are holding a slim 69-68 lead.

The Lakers were able to take a 65-63 lead, their first of the second half, with 4:58 left in the third quarter. A nine-foot jumper by Kobe Bryant tied it 63-63. Bryant stole a bad pass from Derrick Rose and passed it over to Derek Fisher for the layup and the lead.

A three-pointer by Rose and layup from Luol Deng gave the Bulls a 68-67 lead with 2:50 left in the quarter. Steve Blake grabbed a rebound with 0:34 left and got it over to Josh McRoberts for a big dunk to take a 69-68 lead that they would hang on to until the quarter ended.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Lakers, please visit Silver Screen and Roll. For full coverage of the Chicago Bulls, head on over to Blog a Bull.


Lakers Vs. Bulls: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng Help Bulls To 56-49 Lead At Halftime

The Los Angeles Lakers are hosting the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center to kick off the 2011-12 NBA season. The marquee Opening Day matchup. The game was knotted at 47-47 with just 1:20 left in the second quarter before the Bulls reeled off a solid run to close out the half, just as they did at the end of the first quarter.

Reigning MVP Derrick Rose sank a three-pointer with just over a minute left in the half to put the Bulls up, 50-47. Pau Gasol was fouled and knocked down and made his two free throws to bring the Lakers within one, but Luol Deng knocked in another three, with an assist from Rose. After Kobe Bryant missed a jumper, Carlos Boozer grabbed the rebound and handed it off to Rose. Rose again passed to Deng who went up with a layup and ran into Derek Fisher, getting the bucket and one with just 1.4 second left in the half. He sank the free throw and sent the Bulls into halftime with a 56-49 lead.

Kobe Bryant is leading all scorers with 14 points. He is 6-for-10 in 17 minutes on the floor. Pau Gasol has 10 points and four rebounds. Josh McRoberts is also contributing for Los Angeles, with five rebounds and two assists to go along with four points and is 2-for-3 from the floor.

Rose is 4-for-5 from the floor, including making both three-point attempts. He has 10 points and four assists. Boozer also has 10 points, with three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Deng has 10 points and two assists.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Lakers, please visit Silver Screen and Roll. For full coverage of the Chicago Bulls, head on over to Blog a Bull.


Lakers Vs. Bulls: Kobe Bryant And Lakers Trail 22-20 After First Quarter

The 2011-12 NBA season is finally upon us at long last. The Los Angeles Lakers are helping to kick off the season on Christmas Day as they host the Chicago Bulls. At the end of the first quarter, the Lakers trail 22-20.

The Lakers held a four-point lead for much of the first quarter, but the Bulls closed out the frame by going on a 12-to-2 run, taking the lead when C.J. Watson drained a three-pointer with less than a minute to go. Pau Gasol had a shot at reclaiming the lead but missed a three-point attempt with under 0:30 left.

Kobe Bryant, despite dealing with a wrist injury, is leading the charge for the Lakers, as is to be expected. He and Pau Gasol are putting on a two-man show for the home team through the opening quarter. Kobe currently has six points, three rebounds and an assist and Pau is 4-for-7 with eight points.

Chicago's leading scorer thus far is center Joakim Noah, with six points. The reigning NBA MVP, Derrick Rose, is off to a slow start, only clocking in five minutes on the court. Rose is 0-for-1 from the floor.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Lakers, please visit Silver Screen and Roll. For full coverage of the Chicago Bulls, head on over to Blog a Bull.


Lakers Vs. Bulls, Christmas Day: Game Time, TV Broadcast Info, And More

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers open their 2011-2012 NBA season with a familiar role, playing on Christmas Day. The Lakers will host reigning MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day at Staples Center on ABC, the 13th consecutive Christmas game for the purple and gold. Here are the relevant details of Sunday's contest:

Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Time: 2 p.m.

TV: ABC, with Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, and Heather Cox on the call

Radio: ESPN 710 and the Lakers Radio Network, with John Ireland making his regular season debut as the Lakers' radio play-by-play man.

Home Sweet Home: The Lakers have beaten the Bulls in their last five trips to Staples Center

Record-Setting Christmas: Kobe Bryant will play in his 14th Christmas game on Sunday, surpassing Earl Monroe, Shaquille O`Neal, and Dolph Schayes for most games played on December 25.

All Christmas, All The Time: This is the 13th consecutive Christmas game for the Lakers, who are just 4-8 in those contests.

Openers: The Lakers are 36-15 in their season openers since moving to Los Angeles, including winning seven of their last eight and 17 of their last 19. The Lakers are 34-17 in their home openers in Los Angeles.

For more on the Lakers, head on over to Silver Screen and Roll.


Lakers Vs. Bulls: Christmas Day An Annual Tradition For Kobe Bryant, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day at Staples Center to open their NBA season. Watching the Lakers on Christmas is becoming more of a tradition than Jimmy Stewart and his pals sing Auld Lang Syne. This will be the 14th Christmas game played by Kobe Bryant, more than anyone else in NBA history.

Kobe is currently tied with Earl Monroe, Shaquille O`Neal, and Dolph Schayes for the most Christmas games with 13. Sunday will mark the 13th consecutive year that the Lakers have played on Christmas Day. Here is a look back at the previous 12 yule tide contests:

Lakers On Christmas Day
Year Opponent Result
2010 Miami L, 96-80
2009 Cleveland L, 102-87
2008 Boston W, 92-83
2007 Phoenix W, 122-115
2006 at Miami
L, 101-85
2005 at Miami
L, 97-92
2004 Miami L, 104-102 (OT)
2003 Houston L, 99-87
2002 Sacramento L, 105-99
2001 Philadelphia W, 88-82
2000 Portland L, 109-104
1999 San Antonio W, 99-93
Source: Basketball-Reference.com

Outside of a pair of trips to Miami during the post Kobe-Shaq divorce period, the Lakers have been home for the holidays. This year will be the fifth straight year they have played at Staples Center on Christmas Day, and 11th time in 13 years playing in Los Angeles on December 25. The Lakers are just 4-8 in their last 12 Christmas encounters, but they hope that by 2 p.m. PST on Sunday, they will be able to beat Derrick Rose and company.

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


Los Angeles Lakers Name Devin Ebanks To Starting Lineup Over Matt Barnes

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a tumultuous last few weeks, but the team gained some sense of stability on Friday as head coach Mike Brown named Devin Ebanks the starter at small forward. Ebanks, a second year wing out of West Virginia, was in a close battle with Matt Barnes for the starting spot in practice and eventually won out with the season opener less than two days away. Here is the story from Andy Kamenetzky:

Brown opted to go with Ebanks, despite the forward's lack of NBA experience. As a rookie in the 2010-11 season, Ebanks averaged just 5.9 minutes and 3.1 points per game and appeared in only 20 contests before suffering a season-ending stress fracture on his left tibia in March.

However, Ebanks' improvement was immediately evident during a strong training camp, and he scored eight points in less than 13 minutes on Wednesday during the Lakers' second preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"I learned about it today after practice," said Ebanks. "I'm just ready to go out there and play now." Brown thought Ebanks "did a nice job."

There are players around the league the Lakers would rather have than Ebanks, but it may do the team some good to get some fresh legs on the court. LA has aged in recent seasons and Ebanks may be able to provide a nice spark, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

For more on the Lakers, head on over to Silver Screen and Roll.


How Not To Prepare For An NBA Season: The Lakers In Semi-Crisis

The Lakers organization looks pretty shaky top to bottom these days, but there's reason to think they can still be a superpower.


Kobe Bryant Injury: Los Angeles Lakers Superstar Plans To Play Vs. Chicago Bulls

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are ready for the start of a new season and a new era. And there's no way that a little wrist injury is going to keep Bryant from playing this Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Bulls.

Kobe said he is going to be fine, & anticipates playing through the pain. Classic Kobe injury response.
Dec 22 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

Kobe: "I've dealt with do many things ... this should be fine." He does not seem concerned. Again, no shock.
Dec 22 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

View the video of Bryant confirming his availability for this weekend by clicking here.

Bryant won't have an easy task this weekend regardless. Either he'll be forced to try and keep Derrick Rose from driving into the paint or distributing the ball, or he'll have to chase Rip Hamilton down on screen after screen. My guess is that he'll be on Rose, putting Derek Fisher on Hamilton, which should lead to much pain for all involved in the Laker backcourt. Considering the long lockout layoff, I'm guessing Bryant and Fisher will be less-prepared to handle that load.

Still, it's better than the prospect of Devin Ebanks trying to do the job for 35-40 minutes.

To discuss the Bryant injury, head on over to Silver Screen and Roll.


Kobe Bryant Injury Report (W/ PHOTO): Lakers Believe He'll Play Opening Day Vs. Bulls

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't giving much of an indication as to whether they think Kobe Bryant will or will not play on Christmas Day against the Chicago Bulls. For those who want the bad side of this and a grim sight, check this photo of Kobe's hand during the game against the Clippers today courtesy of Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles.


Regardless of the originally grim prospects, the early indications are leaning toward "probably".

Bynum & Gasol among those that definitely expect Kobe to play; Mike Brown unwilling to go past "day to day."
Dec 22 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

D-Fish on Kobe: "He'll cut his wrist off and play with one before he misses Sunday."
Dec 22 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

I don't think Fisher or Brown have actually talked to Bryant, but they probably know that when the superstar commits to playing, he'll play, and that's probably what they've seen from him in practice. Obviously the Lakers wanted to make sure Bryant was in good health before letting him out there today, but they seem fairly confident that he'll be ready to go next Saturday.

This is definitely a reputation thing with Kobe, and he'll be sure to be out on the floor if he can.

To discuss Kobe and the Lakers, head on over to Silver Screen and Roll.


Los Angeles Lakers Injury Update: Kobe Bryant Could Play Christmas Day

Kobe Bryant is banged up again. What else is new?

Bryant's injury will keep him out of the final preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers.  It makes sense to be precautionary with the aging superstar at every turn, particularly in a shortened season where there will be little rest and many games to be played.

However, that does not mean he'll be out any longer.

LAL have not ruled out having Kobe play in X-Mas opener. Will depend on whether he can practice in next few days & how wrist feels.
Dec 21 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply


Bryant is known for wanting to play every basketball game that he possibly can, and if the wrist injury isn't hampering him in practice, I'm pretty sure we'll see something similar this time around, and Kobe will be on the court on Christmas Day if he can even be partly effective. Bryant won't miss a game unless he's absolutely certain that his performance will suffer on the court if he goes out there.

Here's Mike Brown talking about Kobe. I'm sure he said something groundbreaking that'll give us some idea as to whether he'll play or not.

To discuss Kobe and the Lakers, head to Silver Screen and Roll.

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