Slumping Lakers blown away by raging Bulls

Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:18am EST
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(Reuters) - Despite missing leading scorer Luol Deng, the Chicago Bulls were able to heap more misery on the slumping Los Angeles Lakers with a routine 95-83 home victory on Monday.

Kirk Hinrich stepped up to deliver a solid all-around effort of 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as the scrappy Bulls outpaced Los Angeles in the fourth quarter to hand the disarrayed Lakers a ninth defeat in 11 games.

"It's been awhile I guess," Hinrich told reporters of his big offensive night. "I feel like it's about time. I was in a rhythm and just letting it go."

Deng missed his second straight game with a right hamstring injury but Chicago (24-16) still had the tools to prevail in front of their delighted home crowd.

Kobe Bryant extended his shooting slump, making just 7-of-22 shots for 16 points, while Dwight Howard found foul trouble as the visitors could not avoid another disappointing result.

Los Angeles (17-24), a star-studded roster struggling to find consistency, shook things up by starting forward Earl Clark in place of Pau Gasol but even that major adjustment failed to produce enough spark.

The Lakers fought from behind to tie the game at 75-75 with 7:26 remaining before Chicago surged with an 8-0 run followed by consecutive three-pointers from Marco Belinelli to seal victory.

Belinelli had 15 points off the bench as the Bulls got a strong team effort with six players scoring in double figures.


Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (L) listens to Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (R) during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Chicago, Illinois, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes