Bulls conclude western jaunt against Lakers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls will put the finishing touches on their six-game western road trip Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Bulls are 2-3 on the junket and dropped a 102-87 decision to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. Curry carried the Warriors with 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting and added nine assists.
Taj Gibson filled in for an injured Carlos Boozer (calf) to lead the Bulls with 26 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Chicago, losers in three of the last four games and owners of an 11-15 road ledger.
"I thought it was a winnable game down the stretch and we didn't get it done," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Chicago had won nine of 11 games before a recent eight-game struggle (3-5). Joakim Noah chipped in seven points and 11 rebounds in the loss to Golden State, and has grabbed at least that many boards in 20 of the past 21 contests.
The Bulls will then play two straight at home versus Atlanta and Brooklyn, and are expected to be without Boozer Sunday in L.A. Boozer is doubtful.
Los Angeles will limp back to Staples Center winners of two straight since a seven-game slide and will play the next six contests as the host.
The Lakers made it two wins in a row with Friday's 112-98 victory at Philadelphia, as Steve Nash had 19 points and five assists on his 40th birthday and both Wesley Johnson and Chris Kaman tallied 17 points.
"I thought I could play well, I could contribute," Nash said. "At this point, I don't take anything for granted. It's a grind for me to get ready to play every day. I'm just thrilled I can move out there without restriction and help my team."
L.A. went 2-1 on its road trip and has been toiling with a depleted lineup in recent weeks. The Lakers were without the services of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Xavier Henry, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar. Meeks is listed as questionable versus the Bulls.
The Lakers will also host Utah, Oklahoma City, Houston, Boston and Brooklyn on the homestand and have an 8-13 record as the host. However, the Lakers are winless in their past four home games.
Los Angeles dropped a 102-100 overtime decision to the Bulls on Jan. 20 at the United Center, where Gibson's layup off an inbounds pass barely beat the buzzer to pull Chicago to victory. D.J. Augustin had 27 points off the bench to lead the Bulls in that one, while Young paced L.A. with 31 points.
The Lakers have still won 10 of the last 15 meetings with the Bulls and are 13-3 in the past 16 encounters in Hollywood.
02/09 07:32:27 ET