By Joseph Phillips
Chicago Crusader Newspaper
After accumulating a 19 point lead over three quarters, the Chicago Bulls would experience another fourth quarter collapse, in a 118-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at the United Center.
“I thought the ball moved (well). I thought we competed at the defensive end (of the floor). We knock some balls loose. We got out in transition. I thought we had control of the game,” said Jim Boylen, head coach of the Chicago Bulls after the loss. “The second half they crawled into us (defensively) a little bit. The ball stuck (and) their half-court defense is as good as anybody’s in the league.”
During the press conference, Boylen referenced his team’s abysmal fourth quarter, where he watched the Lakers open up on a 12-0 run and outscore the Bulls 38-19 to close out the game.
Trailing by 13 points with 11:44 remaining, the Lakers started their rally on a Kyle Kuzma three pointer, trimming the lead to 10 at 93-83.
Following a basket by Kuzma, the Lakers offense struck again. Slicing the the lead to eight at 93-85.
With 9:42 remaining, Kuzma scored on a lay up and was fouled. And after a failed free throw attempt, center Dwight Howard rebounded the ball off the rim and returned it with a two hand slam. Trimming the lead to four at 93-89.
And from that point, the Bulls looked overwhelmed.
Final Score: Lakers 118, Bulls 112.
There were a few bright spots in Tuesday’s game. Rookie sensation Coby White exploded for 16 first half points, but was only limited to two second half points, after watching his team surrendered a 19 point lead. White finished with 18 points on the night.
Guard Zach Lavine scored a team high 26 points, but was overshadowed by Lebron James third straight triple double of the season. James led all scorers with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assist.
Honorable mention: Anthony Davis finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, one steal and three blocks.
Chicago Crusader Newspaper Players of The Game:
Zach Lavine, Bulls, 26 points.
Lebron James, Lakers, triple double, 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assist.
Joseph Phillips is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 15 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.