On a rainy Sunday in LA, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the team from the "Windy City," as Jimmy Butler scored 40 points to help the Chicago Bulls claim the Staples Center split after losing to the LA Clippers one night earlier.
Dwyane Wade sat out Sunday's contest due to playing heavy minutes the night before, but Butler more than made up for the Chicago native's absence. Butler set the tone by playing all 12 minutes of the first quarter and scoring 13 points to help Chicago score 30 points in the period.
Assisted by Lou Williams' first half heroics, however, the Lakers managed to enter the halftime intermission only trailing 62-61. Williams had 19 points at that stage, and second year forward Larry Nance Jr. also got off to a bright start with 14 points in the half en route to a career-high 18 points for the game.
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Nance and Williams are part of the Lakers' bench unit, and LA found itself following a familiar script on Sunday, as the second unit erased a deficit and carried the lackluster starters back into the game. Even with Jordan Clarkson only making one of his 12 field goal attempts on the night, the Lakers' bench outscored the starters 59 to 51 for the game.
Chicago's starters outscored its LA counterparts 86 to 51, heavily fueled by Butler's 40-point night.
Although the Lakers took care of the basketball and only committed 10 turnovers on the night, LA got murdered on the boards. Chicago out-rebounded the Lakers 56 to 37, and Lakers coach Luke Walton had a tough time not focusing on that discrepancy during his post-game comments.
"That's what they're great at and they manhandled us," Walton said after the game.
All five of Chicago's starters managed at least seven rebounds on the night, while not a single Lakers' player finished with seven rebounds on the night. Williams, Nance and Nick Young all finished with six rebounds on the night.
Despite all that, the Lakers still managed to ignite the crowd late by cutting a 15-point lead with 4:24 remaining in the game to only five points with 1:12 remaining. The Lakers earned multiple open looks at three-pointers to cut the margin down to two points, but those attempted refused to fall.
Eventually, the Bulls won by a final score of 118-110. As such, the Lakers dropped to 7-7 on the season and next faces the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Quote of the night:
Bulls coach Fred Hoiburg on Jimmy Butler: "He told me before the game, 'Coach, I'm going for 40 points tonight.' And he did it."