After taking care of the deal in both Dallas and San Antonio, the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to believe that was good enough and went three-quarters against the Chicago Bulls. But then the team suddenly awoke, the bank celebrated a furious comeback in the fourth and ended with a 118-112 win, the sixth consecutive victory.
Easily getting away with the top story of this game was Kyle Kuzma's late game. The Lakers' third (though it was Danny Green) looked well on his way to his third bad game in a row as he tried to work his way back from injury. He said earlier in the day that he treated these games like preseason games and it is being shown. Kuzma spent most of the game playing for the time being, and even as he tried to attack, he still did not have the speed to get past anyone. That said, he hit a huge one in the fourth quarter to keep the ball game back to the kind of deficit that allowed Davis and James back into the game. He would miss the free-throw, but Dwight Howard grabbed the board and dunked it home to make it a four-point game. This was part of the 14-0 lead that gave the Lakers the lead back and increased the momentum in LA.
James returned to the game at 8:37 and did his thing after taking the opportunity to take control. The Lakers built on that and left Chicago pretty quickly from that point on. Kuzma finished with 15 points while James rounded off another solid night with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, his third triple-double in a row.
The Lakers are so talented that they can hang out with just a little about each and on evenings like Tuesday, when they play a far-outnumbered opponent, they will be able to dominate if they have to and win handsomely even though they did not really deserve their game at the beginning of the game. But there will be nights when it would be nice to take care of the business earlier in the game to improve the rotation.
The Lakers now have a few days off as they leave 3-0 before returning home Friday night against Jimmy Butler and the surprising heat of Miami.
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