Bulls win! Bulls win! They beat the Lakers 92 to 86 at the Staples Center.
A Hollywood ending to not exactly a Hollywood story – the story being the six-game west coast road trip.
The Bulls escape with a 3-3 record, and that’s what the pundits (local media) were hoping for. “Best as can be expected.”
Not sure what’s most surprising. That the Bulls led for the entire contest. That they managed to do so on national TV. That they did so on national TV without wearing their Christmas pajamas. That they made all of their 17 of their free throws. Or, that they managed to win.
Well, that’s how you bring Showtime back to the Staples Center.
But it’s not exactly the Show the Lakers fans were hoping for. Hey, at least you can count on the Bulls to provide some semblance of hope, as they managed to let a 19-point lead deteriorate to four.
There’s a lot of talk about the Lakers being down so many guys due to injury, but let’s remember that the Bulls only had 9 active players (Boozer out due to calf injury sustained while warming up in the locker room prior to the Warriors game on Thursday. The new guy, Toko Shengelia had to attend a funeral). And given Erik Murphy doesn’t play, that makes it 8 players.
I really don’t feel too badly for the Lakers at all.
Most importantly, and finally, at long last, the Bulls are coming home, and back at .500, with a 25-25 record.
I, for one, am happy this road trip is over. It’s killing me. All of the late starts and good teams. It’s exhausting. And I need to be rested and at the top of my game. I heard that Thibs is looking for a player. He’s not specific about what kind of player at all. I may have a chance: Bulls coach eager to add a player or two.
Noah on his late jumper, reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “I’m happy it went down because my shot is so ugly, it’s demoralizing for the other team.”
Sam Smith, unofficial official Bulls blogger on D.J.’s steal: “Turns out the D.J. in Augustin stands for Defensive Jackal with perhaps late game saving steal.”
It’s the Hawks on Tuesday and those Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. It’s good to be back in the not-so-wild East.