Inactives for tonight’s game:
Chicago Bulls: Luol Deng, JamesOn Curry, Victor Khryapa
Los Angeles Lakers: Coby Karl, Javaris Crittenton, Ronny Turiaf
12:00 Magic Johnson’s in the house for the game tonight.
10:48 Nice penetration dribble and layup from a nimble looking Kwame Brown. Kwame looked as surprised as anyone that he was able to complete the uncharacteristic play.
8:28 Kwame’s on the ground holding his knee and in obvious pain after falling on a Bulls players’ knee. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti’s on the floor as the Lakers called a full timeout.
Kwame was just assisted to the locker room by Chris Mihm and Vladimir Radmanovic. It looks like Brown is unable to put any pressure on the knee, but hopefully it looks worse than it is.
7:30 Sloppy play for the Lakers so far…Cook, Turiaf’s fill-in at power forward looks lost out there on offense.
6:38 Bynum’s into the game to replace Kwame and bails the Lakers out of another poor possession, showing patience in going up for a highly contested layup over Bulls defenders. If Kwame can’t go go for the rest of the night, the Lakers will need similar play out of Andrew all night.
4:30 Party on the floor! Everyone’s diving in as the teams swap consecutive sloppy possessions. Hinrich’s speed is causing problems for Walton on both ends of the court.
3:44 Friday night’s spark plug Jordan Farmar is into the game for the first time tonight.
2:23 The Lakers have not scored in well over three minutes, but luckily, the Bulls have not fared much better and only lead by five at 17-12. The Lakers need to do a better job dictating the tempo of the game–something they did extremely well in the fourth quarter versus the Pistons two nights ago. The team already has 6 turnovers.
0:00 Things could be much worse for the Lakers after an uninspired opening 12 minutes. They’re fortunate to only be down 21-15.
10:52 Mo Evans makes up for getting the ball swiped from him on a breakaway by sinking the bucket as he got fouled.
10:27 Radmanovic has played a 93 seconds and already has two fouls. The Bulls sub in Ben Wallace for Nocioni, who has been destroying the Lakers so far with 11 points.
Bynum is going to see a lot of minutes tonight now that it appears that Kwame won’t return and how he plays could dictate how this one ends up. Early on he’s been getting good position down low, but having a hard time finishing the first time.
8:44 Sefolosha makes a nice cut for an easy duece to stop the Lakers 10-0 run. Good outside shooting from Walton and Radmanovic was the spark. Lakers 26-25.
6:00 The Lakers call a TO with the same one-point lead they had at the last stoppage in play. Chris Mihm is ready to check in to spell Andrew. Kobe, Lamar, and Fisher also return for the final six minutes.
3:25 Sasha Vujacic comes in for Radmanovic as the Lakers trail 40-39. Sasha hasn’t seen a lot of PT lately, hopefully he can make the most of this. Chris Mihm just looks clunky out there right now. He’s not getting a whole lot of lift and is having a hard time getting position on Wallace.
0:00 Kobe finishes off the half by doing one of his patented weave, bob, sink a lay up moves that brings the lakers within one point at 46-45. That might have been the most exciting play of the half and it wasn’t all that exciting. Easily the most boring half the Lakers have played this season. Truthfully they’re lucky to be within one after committing 13 turnovers and shooting under 40%. Derek Fisher had a particularly tough quarter getting blanked on 0/4 shooting.
12:00 Kwame’s not on the bench as the Lakers start the third quarter.
10:47 DFish is finally on the board for the Lakers, knocking in his first field goal of the game assisted by Kobe. Although only just over a minute has gone by in the quarter, the team looks much more focused coming out of the gate in the second half.
7:55 Fisher’s aggression again leads to an another easy basket for the guard. Despite his poor first half, Derek’s veteran savvy is clearly shining through as instead of shying away from his shot, he’s stepping it up.
6:50 Looks like Kobe’s heating it up in the second half and his Lakers teammates are catching on too as the team’s come storming into the third quarter, outscoring the Bulls 13-2.
Injury Update: Kwame’s been diagnosed with a mild to moderate sprain of his right knee. While that isn’t great news, at least it doesn’t appear to be season-ending.
3:53 Almost Odom’s second great coast-to-coast play in as many games after snatching the ball from Chicago…Lamar’s heads to the line instead and knocks down both freebies upping the Lakers lead to 62-51.
2:42 What was a 12 point lead only minutes ago is down to four after Tyrus Thomas’ deuce and one. Suddenly, the Lakers look out of sync on offense again. The only thing the Lakers have been consistent about tonight is their inconsistency. As was the case in the first half, they’re lucky to be up still.
1:02 Big three by Farmar finally gives the STAPLES Center crowd something to get excited about tonight. Farmar follows it up with an uncontested layup to put the Lakers up by 12 again.
00.9 Walton’s fouled beyond the arc for three free throws. In a game of runs, the Lakers are on one of their own. Let’s see if it will stick heading into the fourth and final quarter.
10:47 Great sequence by the Lakers, with Walton passing to Farmar who dishes it to Chris Mihm for a dunk and a 19 point Lakers lead. Mihm has looked rusty the entire game (and season), so it’s especially nice to see him finish an aggressive play around the basket.
9:44 Another perfect Farmar pass resulting in a Mihm dunk. Everything’s going right for the Lakers right now.
7:36 Nice turnaround jumper from Walton in the post…Luke’s been struggling on offense this season so it’s nice to see him get two with his patented move.
6:28 Kobe’s back in for the Lakers? With the team up by 16 at 87-71, it’s a little surprising to see #24 back on the court for L.A. Maybe Kobe felt a little left out as the Lakers opened up the game without him on the floor.
6:18 Another three from Farmar. It seems like we’re saying it every game, but his shot is dramatically improved from last season. The same can be said of Bynum who just made a nifty shot in the post on the Lakers next possession. With a tenth of the season already gone, it looks like the pair might just be the team’s biggest X-factors going forward.
3:32 It looks like the Bulls are throwing up the white flag as they come out of the timeout with a lineup featuring rookie forward Noah, Thabo and Duhon. Vujacic’s in for the Lakers to go along with Walton, Bynum and Farmar. Sasha is the only Laker on the floor who didn’t play in the team’s win over Detroit on Friday so let’s see if he can get a few touches.
2:12 Vladman just nailed home his second three pointer to push the Lakers lead to a game-high 24. Vlad’s continued his impressive shooting from behind the arc in the team’s first 9 games, putting up 11 for the game.
51.1 Sasha’s in on the action too with his first shot of the game…a three. With under a minute to go, it looks like everyone’s getting tacos for the second game in a row. Weird night for both teams, but the Lakers–almost quietly–just beat the Bulls by almost 30.
FINAL SCORE: Lakers 106, Bulls 78.