Lakers lose third straight game in loss to Bulls
Nam Y. Huh/ Associated Press
The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Chicago Bulls 108-124 Wednesday night for their third straight loss in what proved to be a dominant showing by the home team.
This three-game skid comes at an interesting time for this Lakers team that had such an impressive run during the In-Season Tournament.
Ahead of the rest of the three-game road trip, let’s look at some critical takeaways from tonight’s game.
FINAL: Bulls 124, Lakers 108.— Carlos Yakimowich (@SportsFocusLA) December 21, 2023
The #Lakers fall to 15-13 on the season and 5-10 on the road after a lackluster 16-point loss to the Bulls.
LeBron: 25 pts, 10 rebs, 8 asts
AD: 19 pts, 14 rebs
AR: 21 pts, 9/14 FGM
LA shot 32.4% (12/37) from 3
CHI shot 52.9% (18/34) from 3
Bulls’ 3-Point Dominance
The Bulls were red hot from the three-point line tonight, going 18-34 (52.9%) while accounting for nearly 38% of the team’s points. Five Bulls scored three or more three-pointers tonight, all five doing so at 50% shooting or better.
While lights-out performances like these are rarities, they are consistent with what we’ve witnessed against this Lakers team in recent games.
In their last three games, opponents have shot a combined 43.4% from the three against LA. This would be a league-high over the span of the entire season and is the fifth worst of any team in their last three games.
Strong perimeter defenders such as Cam Reddish and Jarred Vanderbilt were consistently exposed in this contest. While we can expect this to be better in the future, there needs to be some sort of attitude switch on this end, especially in road games.
The Lakers’ defense, particularly limiting opposing three-point efficiency, has been a point of emphasis that needs to be addressed by the coaching staff if this team is to get back on track.
Darvin Ham has Vando at the 5 pic.twitter.com/sCnhg9xXUS— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 21, 2023
The LakeShow has been in the media spotlight this season regarding trade rumors for stars such as Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and even former Laker Alex Caruso; however, nights like tonight highlight the Lakers’ greatest positional need, the backup center position.
While backup bigs Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood have been serviceable in certain games, they have also faced availability issues and have been inefficient at times. Tonight, both players were out of the rotation, only logging playing time in the final minute of the game when they were down 15+.
This loss marks the third straight and 18th game this season; the Lakers have been outrebounded.
Adding another big to bolster the Laker frontcourt would help the defensive rebounding department and limit second-chance three-point opportunities in games like tonight.
The Lakers play again tomorrow on the second night of their back-to-back in Minnesota against the top-seeded Timberwolves. We can expect tomorrow’s play-in rematch between former number-one overall picks LeBron James and Anthony Edwards to be one to remember.