NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, January 20th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Lakers (16-25) at Chicago Bulls (19-20), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Lakers have picked up two straight wins
on their Grammy road trip and will try for a third in a row Monday night when
they take on the Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers, who will play game four of a seven-game eastern swing, defeated
the Boston Celtics on Friday night, then on Sunday, took out the Atlantic
Division-leading Toronto Raptors, 112-106.
L.A. was down 19 in the second quarter and 17 in the third, but was led by
Nick Young in the fourth. He scored 15 of his game-high 29 points over the
final 12 minutes to give the Lakers the comeback victory.
It was the first time the Lakers secured back-to-back wins since mid-December.
Pau Gasol finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, Ryan Kelly added 17
points and Kendall Marshall netted 10 with 11 assists for the victors. Jodie
Meeks chipped in 11 points.
The Lakers still have to visit the two-time defending champion Miami Heat,
Orlando Magic and New York Knicks on this long road trip.
The Bulls got back into the winner's circle on Saturday night after two losses
in their last three. Chicago demolished the Philadelphia 76ers, 103-78, for
its seventh win in the last nine games.
Joakim Noah had 21 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for the Bulls. It was
his 16th double-double of the season and the 12th consecutive game with
double-digit rebounds, a personal best.
"Joakim is doing just about everything. Laundry, everything," said Bulls coach
Tom Thibodeau. "You can't play any better than he is playing right now in
every aspect of the game. The defense has been there all season, the
rebounding off the charts, the playmaking, the decisions, multiple effort. It
sets the tone for our team.
It's a good time to be playing well for Noah as All-Star reserves will be
announced in 10 days.
"I'm biased. To me he is playing as well as any big man in the league," said
Thibodeau. "The thing will probably hurt some, and I hope we can get this
corrected shortly, is being under .500."
A win on Monday and the Bulls will indeed even their record.
D.J. Augustin added 19 points and eight assists for the Bulls, while Carlos
Boozer tallied 15 points and 13 boards. Tony Snell finished with 13 off the
bench and Jimmy Butler managed 10 points.
The two teams split last season's matchups, but the Lakers have won eight of
the last 11 meetings. L.A. has dropped two straight in the Windy City.
01/20 10:33:55 ET