Bulls momentum halted by the reigning champion Lakers

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CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 23: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball against the Chicago Bulls on January 23, 2021 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – After years of frustration, some modest success was a breath of fresh air for fans of the Bulls.

Winning three-straight games after a stretch of four contests where the Bulls had lost but were competitive till the end. In fact, they managed to score at least 115 points in their last seven games, the first time the franchise had done so since 1970.

Just as he had in Oklahoma City, Billy Donovan appears to be helping a Bulls’ team that returned mostly in tact from a 22-43 season a year ago overachieve a bit in the first month of the season.

That thought might not change after Saturday night’s game at the United Center, but certainly, it showed what could happen when the team doesn’t rise their game against an elite opponent.

The reigning champion Lakers turned their game with the Bulls into a laugher within the first 20 minutes as Chicago native Anthony Davis enjoyed his best night of the young 2020-2021 season. He scored 26 points in the first half en route to a season-high 37 in a 101-90 victory for Los Angeles at the United Center.

In the end, the score was little closer than the pace of the game would indicate, since the Lakers led by 30 points at halftime and were well on their way to victory with 24 minutes to go. While the Bulls were able to make up some of the deficit in the second half, their 90 points not only snaps their 115-point streak but was also their lowest output of the season.

The first half was mainly the reason as the Bulls only were able to get 33 points against the surging Lakers, who opened up the 30 point lead in just 24 minutes. Unlike their effort the night before against the Hornets, where they dished out 33 assists, the Bulls only had 18 on this night.

Shooting from the field was an issues for the Bulls as well as they hit just 39.3 percent of their shots, with the starters hitting just 25-of-64 from the field. Zach LaVine was the leading scorer again with 21 but like most of the team struggled from the field, hitting just nine of his 23 shots on the evening.

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