CHICAGO (AP) –DeMar DeRozan scored 38 points after missing two weeks in NBA health and safety protocols, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 115-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Lonzo Ball added 19 points as the Bulls ended a two-game losing streak. It was Chicago’s first game since Dec. 11 after two were postponed.
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LeBron James had 31 points, Carmelo Anthony added 21 and Russell Westbrook 20 as Los Angeles lost their second straight.
As the Bulls trailed by one point in the final minute, DeRozan hit 18 feet for a 111-110 lead with 52 seconds left. Following a misfire by the Lakers, DeRozan missed a shot but was subsequently fouled with 15.6 seconds left after Ball grabbed the offensive rebound. DeRozan then made both free throws for a 113-110 advantage.
Before having two games postponed last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Bulls had 10 players in health and safety protocols. That number has dropped to four at the moment, including All-Star Zach LaVine.
Although the Lakers haven’t postponed any games, they currently have six players – Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker. Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Austin Reaves – and coach Frank Vogel in health and safety protocols.
Assistant David Fizdale coached on Sunday.
It was also Los Angeles’ first game without forward Anthony Davis, who sprained his left knee on Friday and is set to miss four weeks.
Chicago led most of the first half and up 10 points before taking a 61-59 lead at halftime. The Lakers took a 65-64 lead early in the third quarter on a float from Isaiah Thomas.
The teams traded baskets and leads for the remainder of the quarter before Los Angeles took an 84-83 advantage in the fourth.
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The Lakers increased their lead to 90-85 early in the last quarter on a three-point play from DeAndre Jordan, but soon after, DeRozan hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to put the Bulls in the 94- lead. 93.
With Chicago ahead 99-96, Anthony scored 3 straight points (both from assists from James) for a 102-99 lead in Los Angeles with 5 minutes remaining. The game remained tight until DeRozan took over late.
Lakers: F Trevor Ariza made his season debut after being sidelined for the first two months with a right ankle injury. The 17-year-old veteran finished with three points in 15 minutes on the benchâ¦ G Kendrick Nunn was struck off health and safety protocols on Sunday but remains sidelined with a bruise to his right knee.
Bulls: Coach Billy Donovan doesn’t expect any of the players left in COVID protocols to return to the game until Christmas. Chicago plays Monday and Wednesday, then is off duty until Dec. 26. Of those four, Donovan also said that only F Troy Brown Jr. exhibited anything other than mild symptoms.
Lakers: Host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
Bulls: Host the Houston Rockets on Monday.
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