Lakers lose in gutsy performance
When the epic collapse was done, Mike Brown tried to stay positive.
He walked off the Lakers' bench, clapping his hands and went first to congratulate – or console – Kobe Bryant, who ended the game with a killer turnover and a shot blocked at the buzzer.
The Lakers spoiled a gutsy effort in Brown's debut as Lakers coach by faltering late Sunday and losing, 88-87, to the Chicago Bulls.
Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose had 10 points and three assists in his 7:08 of the second quarter, taking over and setting the stage for the Lakers to succumb. Instead, Brown's aggressive pick-and-roll defense otherwise corralled Rose, who had just 10 points, two assists and four turnovers in the first, third and fourth quarters combined ... until he sank a floater with 4.8 seconds left to give the Bulls the lead.
The Bulls only had the ball because of Bryant's turnover with a three-point lead and 20 seconds left when trapped by the Bulls' defense. Bryant, playing with a torn ligament in his right wrist, and 28 points on 11-of-23 shooting, seven rebounds, six assists, eight turnovers and two steals.
After little more than two weeks with these players, Brown saw some remarkable second-half push-back, particularly on the defensive end of the court that was his focus through training camp. After Chicago made 24 of its 41 shots (58.5 percent) in the first half, the Bulls made just 6 of 41 (14.6 percent) to start the second half despite the Lakers playing without suspended Andrew Bynum.
Josh McRoberts made a myriad of little plays, both heady and hustling, to help the Lakers in his first game replacing the traded Lamar Odom, and Devin Ebanks was solid (eight points) in his first start. But the Lakers faded at the end.