The Lakers defeated the Chicago Bulls for the second time this month, 101-90, Saturday in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Here are three takeaways from the game:
1. Anthony Davis was down on himself after the Lakers beat Milwaukee two days earlier.
He didn’t like missing some shots and free throws and was harshly self-critical when he said, “I think I suck right now.”
It’s safe to say he no longer feels that way.
Davis had 37 points Saturday in his hometown, hurting the Bulls every which way in only 28 minutes. He did not play in the fourth quarter because the Lakers were so far ahead.
Davis scored 26 points in the first half, with almost all of them in the paint or the free-throw line.
He made 14 of 21 shots and snapped out of a mild slump behind the arc, making two of three from three-point range.
2. How strong is the Lakers’ defense? Um, strong.
Chicago’s 33 points were the fewest scored in the first half by a Lakers’ opponent since January 2016. The Lakers took four charges in the half as Davis and LeBron James outscored the Bulls by themselves, 39-33.
The Bulls didn’t make a three-pointer until midway through the third quarter, missing their first 13 attempts before Patrick Williams finally made one from the corner.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine was frustrated all night, scoring 21 points on shaky nine-for-23 shooting (39%). He also committed seven turnovers.
LaVine hit the Lakers for 38 points two weeks ago in a narrow Bulls loss but had no such luck Saturday.
3. Talen Horton-Tucker might have felt a little lonely before Saturday.
He didn’t play in the previous two games and logged only three minutes the game before that.
Horton-Tucker’s loneliness didn’t last long. He was back in the rotation against Chicago.
The second-year player scored 10 points in 21 minutes, tying Montrezl Harrell for the most points off the Lakers’ bench.
It wasn’t until the second-half time, with the game out of reach, that he logged nine minutes before halftime, scoring eight points.