Lakers rally from 19-point deficit to beat Bulls

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Luke Walton reminded his young team that 14 points aren't much in the NBA, and the Lakers proceeded to stage a rally that suggested the future might not be so miserable after all.
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Reuters

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle (center) leaps for a rebound against Chicago Bulls center Cristiano Felicio during the first half of their NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 22, 2017. The Lakers rallied for a 103-94 victory.

The Los Angeles Lakers' first half resembled many miserable stretches of the past four seasons. Although the Chicago Bulls have plenty of their own problems, they outworked, outshot and outsmarted the Lakers while taking a 14-point lead.

Coach Luke Walton reminded his young team that 14 points aren't much in the National Basketball Association, and the Lakers proceeded to stage a rally that suggested the future might not be so miserable after all.

Kyle Kuzma had 22 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 11 of his 21 in the fourth quarter and the Lakers roared back from a 19-point deficit in the second half for a 103-94 victory over the Bulls on Tuesday night.

Brandon Ingram had 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists as the Lakers won consecutive games for the second time this season, doing so in a thrilling fashion that had their still-faithful fans standing, cheering and recalling the 16-time champion franchise's better years.

"Anytime you go out there and compete, and you look to your right and your left and everybody is competing as hard as you are, that's a great feeling," said rookie Lonzo Ball, who had 8 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists.

Los Angeles is off to an 8-10 start and sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference — small achievements, but important steps for a young team just starting to believe it can compete.

The Lakers weren't competitive in the first half while committing 13 turnovers, and they trailed 42-61 early in the second half. But they put together a 38-19 run spurred by an energetic third quarter from reserves Jordan Clarkson, Josh Hart and Julius Randle, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Caldwell-Pope's layup with 3:08 to play gave the Lakers their first lead since the first quarter, and the veteran added back-to-back 3-pointers. The Lakers finished strong for their first win over the Bulls at Staples Center in three tries.

"I was shocked we were only down 14 at the half, to be honest," Walton said. "It was a learning opportunity for the guys to be down 20 and realize you don't need hero shots. You just need to tighten down on what we are doing, and you can get back in the game."

Denzel Valentine scored 17 points and Antonio Blakeney added 15 — all in the first half — for the Bulls, who dropped to 3-12 with their seventh loss in eight games.

"They grabbed the momentum and ran with it," said Kris Dunn, who had 12 points and 6 assists in his second start of the season for Chicago. "Caldwell-Pope, he hit some big shots. They were more aggressive than we were and started getting to the free throw line."


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