Game 55: Chicago Bulls (29-26) defeat Los Angeles Lakers (11-46), 126-115
February 21, 2016
United Center – Chicago
The Lakers gave the Bulls a pretty good scare in the first half, but the Bulls’ third-quarter play propelled them to a win in Kobe Bryant‘s last game in Chicago.
Both teams were pretty evenly matched come halftime with the Bulls taking the 62-58 lead. The Bulls stepped their defense up to open the half, though: They limited the Lakers to 23 points in the period, the Lakers’ lowest scoring quarter of the night. Combine that with the Bulls’ five 3-pointers, and they established a 16-point lead at the end of the quarter.
The Bulls couldn’t keep up their defense, though.
At the 6:50 mark of the fourth quarter, Brandon Bass made a layup to cut the Bulls’ double-digit lead to eight points, 108-100, starting a 7-0 Lakers run. But that was as close as the Lakers got. The Bulls got their offense going again, finishing the game with 18 more points to add to the scoreboard.
Player of the Game
Moore tied Derrick Rose‘s 24 points to share the title of the game’s leading scorer. Moore went 10-of-14 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 on threes to tie his career high in points. His four 3-pointers were also a game high. He also added for rebounds, one assist, one steal and a block.
Bryant scored 22 points on 8-for-20 shooting. It’s not the best field goal percentage, but he still scored well in his last game in Chicago. He was also on fire to open the third quarter, scoring the Lakers’ first six points of the period.
As pointed out by the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson, the Bulls’ 55.7 percent field goal percentage was their season high. With such a high shooting percentage, it’s no wonder the Bulls also scored their season-high point total in regulation.
The Lakers came into Sunday’s matchup scoring 41.3 percent from the field and 96.8 points per game. The Lakers outdid that against the Bulls on 46.2 percent shooting and 115 points, tying their season-high point total.
The Bulls were nearly perfect from the charity stripe with just one missed free throw coming from Taj Gibson. With the made free throws, the Bulls were able to maintain their lead despite runs from the Lakers.
The Bulls continue their homestand Wednesday night when they host the Washington Wizards at the United Center.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.