Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
LOS ANGELES --- The Chicago Bulls dropped to 0-2 on their three-game Western trip with Thursday’s 141-132 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
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Here are 10 observations:
---Offense wasn’t the problem. The Bulls shot 53.4 percent, posted 27 assists and placed six in double figures, led by DeMar DeRozan’s 32 points and 10 assists. Defense and points off turnovers were. The Lakers shot an opponent-season-high 60.9 percent and posted opponent-season-highs for field goals made with 53 and points off turnovers with 26.
"They were in some passing lanes," coach Billy Donovan said. "But we also had some advantages and telegraphed those advantages. And they jumped out in the passing lane and were disruptive."
Added DeMar DeRozan: "We were rushing too much. We were trying to do things too fast instead of just feeling it out, understanding how they were guarding us. We put fuel on the fire by turning the ball over, letting them play in transition. And they were hot."
The Lakers aren't a high-volume making 3-point shooting team. They ranked 28th entering the game with just 11 made per game. But they shot 20-for-31 from beyond the arc.
"They were 9-for-14 in the first half on contested 3s," Donovan said. "You have to give them credit."
---LeBron James and Anthony Davis, both listed as questionable, played and scored 25 and 22 points, respectively, while posting double-doubles. Patrick Williams started on James, his second straight nightmare matchup following Kevin Durant on Monday in Phoenix. Just like as in that matchup, Alex Caruso eventually switched onto James.
---James, who earned his record-setting 20th All-Star berth before the game, swished one high-degree-of-difficulty fadeaway along the baseline that took him into the Bulls’ bench. Without breaking stride, James love-tapped Caruso, who was getting a breather, as he turned to sprint downcourt. The former teammates who won a championship with the Lakers share great respect.
---These teams have been linked in the rumor mill for months. But multiple reports, including NBC Sports Chicago, have made it clear that the Lakers have yet to show interest in trading for Zach LaVine. The injured All-Star guard sat on the bench in the second half alongside other street-clothes clad players in Ball and Torrey Craig.
---The Bulls endured a nightmare close to the first half, surrendering a 12-0 run to trail by 16. They even committed a shot-clock violation during this stretch. The Lakers scored 18 points off turnovers in the first half alone. For the game, they scored 26 points off the Bulls’ 17 turnovers.
---Donovan burned a timeout less than a minute in the second half when the Bulls allowed a Davis dunk following a defensive breakdown.
---Ayo Dosunmu finished with 18 points, his sixth straight double-figure scoring game. That’s a career-long streak for the third-year guard. He also had a four-point play in the fourth quarter.
---Late in the third quarter, D’Angelo Russell, on a heat check, sank his eighth 3-pointer in 11 attempts. Why was this significant, other than the fact he went on a heater? The Bulls at the time had eight 3-pointers as a team. Overall, Russell finished 8-for-13 from beyond the arc while the Bulls shot 12-for-37.
"Russell made some really, really tough shots," Donovan said.
---Donovan essentially used a seven-man rotation. Dalen Terry and Jevon Carter logged 3 and 8 minutes, respectively.
---Lonzo Ball attended the game and sat on the bench in street clothes. While coach Billy Donovan said Ball has yet to begin running, he has navigated the portion of rehabilitation from his latest left knee surgery until that point without incident. Ball has been battling an illness, so Thursday marked his first interaction with his teammates since a visit to Chicago last month.