LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jordan Hill scored 26 points and forced the second overtime with a clutch jumper, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their nine-game losing streak in thrilling fashion with a 123-118 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.
Wayne Ellington scored 23 points and rookie Jordan Clarkson added 18 for the Lakers, who held off the Bulls for their first victory since Jan. 9.READ MORE: LA County Sees Another 72 Deaths Related To COVID-19
With big late baskets from everybody in their patchwork lineup, the Lakers avoided matching the 1994 squad coached by Magic Johnson for the longest skid in the 16-time champion franchise’s history.
All-Star Jimmy Butler matched his career high with 35 points for the Bulls, who rallied from a nine-point deficit in 70 seconds late in regulation.
Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his Staples Center return to face the Lakers, and he forced the first overtime with the tying tip-in shot with 11 seconds left.
Derrick Rose added 17 points before missing a jumper at the first overtime buzzer for the Bulls, who flopped after their thrilling win at Golden State on Tuesday.
Carlos Boozer had 16 points for the Lakers, who improved to 1-3 since Kobe Bryant was lost for the season with a torn right rotator cuff.
Hill’s short hook shot at the regulation buzzer rattled out, but he hit a tying 20-footer with 16 seconds left in the first OT. Rose badly missed his 20-footer at the first OT buzzer.
Ellington hit two early shots in the second overtime to put the Lakers up for good. Los Angeles made five of its seven shots in the second OT while holding on.
The Lakers gave a pregame tribute to Gasol, who won two NBA titles in seven seasons in Los Angeles before leaving as a free agent last summer. Gasol got standing ovations in warmups and again before the game, when he stepped to center court and waved both arms at fans wearing commemorative gold T-shirts.READ MORE: High-Powered Winds Whip Through Southland, Bringing Damage To Houses, Trees
Los Angeles led by 15 points in the second half, and Hill’s basket with 1:29 left put the Lakers up 98-89. After Butler hit a 3-pointer, two free throws and a breakaway dunk, Gasol leaned over Robert Sacre and tipped in Rose’s miss with 11 seconds left.
Rose’s 3-pointer to open overtime gave the Bulls their first lead. Gasol made one free throw with 35 seconds left to put Chicago up 106-104, but Hill drained his long jumper before Rose failed to score on an isolation play.
Bulls: Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said the entire locker room was “thrilled” by Butler’s selection as an All-Star reserve: “He has worked extremely hard to put himself in that position.” … Gasol had 23 points and 13 rebounds while the Bulls beat the Lakers on Christmas in Chicago. … The Bulls and the NHL’s Blackhawks are both in Southern California on lengthy trips while Disney on Ice takes over the United Center. The Blackhawks lost to the Kings in this same building Wednesday.
Lakers: Los Angeles hadn’t played a double-OT game since April 22, 2012. … Nick Young missed his second game with a sprained right ankle. … Boozer is being paid about $13.5 million not to play for the Bulls this season. Chicago got rid of the power forward using the amnesty clause last July after four seasons together. Soccer greats David Beckham and Robbie Keane and MLS Commissioner Don Garber all watched the game from courtside.
Bulls: At Phoenix on Friday.
Lakers: At New York on Sunday.
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