Lonzo Ball scored 19 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 17 and the Los Angeles Lakers won for just the fourth time since LeBron James’ groin injury, beating the reeling Chicago Bulls 107-100 on Tuesday night.
Ball, who also had eight rebounds and six assists, scored 13 points during the second half as Los Angeles was able to break open what was a close game for the first 28 minutes. Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma scored 16 apiece.
The game was tied at 48 with 9:24 remaining in the third quarter when the Lakers took control with eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Ball. The Bulls got within 72-68 on a 3-pointer by Wayne Seldon, but the Lakers pulled away again with six straight points to end the third and start the fourth.
Los Angeles’ lead grew to 94-76 with 4:26 remaining in the game before Chicago made a late flurry to get within 103-98 in the final minute.
The Lakers are 4-7 since James was injured in a Dec. 25 game at Golden State.
Jabari Parker scored 18 points and Lauri Markkanen added 17 for Chicago, which has dropped eight straight.
Lakers coach Luke Walton changed his starting lineup, putting Tyson Chandler at center and Caldwell-Pope at guard while moving JaVale McGee and Josh Hart to the bench. Both teams struggled shooting from the floor in the first quarter, but the Lakers held a 19-18 lead, marking the first time in eight games they led after the first 12 minutes.
Los Angeles held a 44-43 lead at halftime as the first half saw 22 lead changes and five ties. The Bulls led 30-24 with 7:48 remaining in the second quarter before the Lakers scored seven straight points to take the lead.
Bulls: Chicago’s 8 of 28 from the field in the first quarter was its second-worst opening 12 minutes of the season. It was 8 of 29 in a Dec. 26 loss to Minnesota.
Lakers: Kuzma also had 12 rebounds as he recorded his third double-double of the season. … The Lakers were 2 of 15 on 3-pointers in the first half but 6 of 11 in the second half, which included three from Ball.
Bulls: Conclude their five-game road trip against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Lakers: Travel to Oklahoma City on Thursday night for the second of three meetings against the Thunder.