Lakers beat Bulls, ending 5-game losing streak


Short of a historical collapse on the part of the Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz or San Antonio Spurs, and an unforeseen win tear from the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James is set to miss the post-season for the first time since the 2004-05 season, his sophomore season in the National Basketball Association.

In 49 games this season for the Purple and Gold, James is averaging 27.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists per contest. Ryan Arcidiacono is in line to get the start in LaVine's absence.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 24 points off the bench for the Lakers, who outscored the Bulls 43-24 in the third quarter. Los Angeles went ahead for the first time since making the first basket of the game when Kuzma put in a layup for a 66-64 lead with 8:48 left in the third quarter.

It does not help that the trio of Brandon Ingram, LeBron James and Lonzo Ball have not shared the court as often as they should've.

Derrick White added 23 points and seven assists, and Davis Bertans dropped three 3-pointers, including two big ones in the fourth quarter. "We were very in-tune with what we needed to do defensively and our second-unit guys came in with energy and effort", James said.

Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 34 points for the Mavericks and Dwight Powell added 20. Six Bulls notched double-figures as well, led by Lauri Markkanen's 17 points.

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It will be LaVine's second consecutive absence.

Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. produced 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Embiid also blocked four shots.

The Portland Trail Blazers ended the Los Angeles Clippers' five-game winning streak with a 125-104 victory, with CJ McCollum scoring 35 points and Jusuf Nurkic and Damian Lillard netting 20 each.

INDIANAPOLIS - Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points and Darren Collison made two free throws 19.5 seconds left to help IN slip past NY.

In other games on Tuesday, the Indiana Pacers defeated the New York Knicks 103-98, the Philadelphia 76ers overpowered the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-99 and the Milwaukee Bucks crushed the New Orleans Pelicans 130-113.