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.
“They’ve been shooting the three great all season,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said of the Lakers. “They are a great defensive team, and we settled too much for the jumper.”
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.
“We went small in the fourth quarter because we had success in the first quarter with it,” Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. “We had anticipated this type of game and we got things accomplished.”
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.