We broke down some of the more intriguing numbers from LAL’s 90-81 win against Chicago:
Chicago’s shooting percentage from the floor towards 81 points, the third-lowest total the Lakers have allowed all season. In the third quarter, L.A. limited the Bulls to 7 of 24 field goals (29.4 percent), in expanding their four-point lead at halftime to 12 entering the final frame. “I think by far this has probably been the most consistent defensive game we have played all season,” Antawn Jamison said.
Rebounds for Dwight Howard, to go along with 16 points and four blocked shots. He finished with his eighth double-double in 10 games since the All-Star break, and during that span, he is averaging nearly 15 boards per contest. “(Howard) just dominated the paint with shot blocking, rebounding and physicality,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “That set the tone for the game and they dominated us on the boards from the start.”
Steve Nash recorded 10 of his 16 points in the third quarter (4 of 6 field goals), helping push L.A.’s lead to 12 points. In 10 games out of the All-Star break, Nash has done most of his damage in the second half shooting, 55.3 percent, particularly in the third quarter where he is at a 58.3 percent clip.
Blocked shots for Metta World Peace, who spent most of the day guarding Carlos Boozer in the post. World Peace made it difficult for Boozer all game long, limiting him to just 4 of 16 field goals and 12 points.
Games above .500 for the Lakers, the first time this season, at 33-31, thanks to winning 8 of 10 games since the All-Star break. L.A. is now in sole possession of the No. 8 seed in the West, a half-game ahead of Utah. “We are playing better,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “The record will show that. We are playing a lot better, and we’re playing the way we’re supposed to.”