Found January 21, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Frustrations appear to be taking their toll on the Los Angeles Lakers, who can't seem to right the ship. The Chicago Bulls, in contrast, have mostly held their own, but coach Tom Thibodeau was anything but pleased with their latest effort. The slumping Lakers try to avoid their longest road losing streak in eight seasons Monday night against a Bulls team that could be without leading scorer Luol Deng again. Los Angeles (17-23) has lost eight of 10 overall after kicking off a three-game trek Sunday with a 108-103 defeat to Toronto. The Lakers, who fell behind by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter, are on the verge of their first six-game losing streak in opponents' arenas since a nine-game skid in 2004-05. "I didn't feel like we were ready to play," point guard Steve Nash said. "We cut too many corners at too many different times in the game and had too big a hole to climb out of. "We're just not finding any consistent level out of our group." Pau Gasol had a season-high 25 points in his return to the starting lineup and Earl Clark scored 14 to go along with a career-best 14 rebounds, but Los Angeles allowed the Raptors to shoot 54.8 percent. The Lakers played the entire second half without Dwight Howard after he received his second technical foul - and the accompanying ejection - late in the second quarter. "We've got a lot of issues," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Offensively the ball sticks and we don't take very good shots. Defensively, ups and downs, we forget guys." Thibodeau also took issue with his team's performance Saturday in an 85-82 overtime loss to Memphis. Chicago (23-16), playing without Deng due to a right hamstring injury, had won seven of its previous nine games but was outscored 21-6 in transition while shooting 36.5 percent. After trailing by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, the Bulls outscored the Grizzlies 29-16 in the fourth but couldn't keep up in the extra period. "We just have to keep battling and battling and battling. In the end, whatever is necessary, that is what you have to do to win," Thibodeau told the Bulls' official website. "You have to get in the fight. It's physical and you can't get thrown around. "We have to do better, we are capable of doing better." He may feel that way about Joakim Noah, who played a season-low 27 minutes Saturday and was benched for the fourth quarter and OT. "That's just a coaching decision," said Thibodeau, who refused to elaborate on the situation. On a more positive note, second-year swingman Jimmy Butler scored 12 of his career-high 18 points over the final 12 minutes of regulation. Butler figures to receive a second consecutive start if Deng, averaging a team-high 17.4 points, can't go Monday. Butler could be asked to help contain Kobe Bryant, who is coming off two particularly inefficient games. He has shot 18 of 57 (31.6 percent) from the floor in losses to Miami and Toronto, committing six turnovers in each contest. "I've just got to rest my legs," said Bryant, averaging an NBA-leading 29.6 points. "My legs are a little tired. My shots are just short." The Lakers had taken seven straight from the Bulls before losing the last two matchups by a combined five points. Injured superstar Derrick Rose, though, totaled 51 points in those narrow wins while Deng added 35.

Kobe Bryant Says He Has Tried to Help Dwight Howard With 3AM Text Messages

Maybe Dwight is sleep, so the messages aren’t serving their intended purpose? The Lakers are a mess and it is getting close to the time to raise the white flag. Can’t just blame one person, but it appears they maybe jumped the gun on firing Mike Brown unless they knew for sure they were going to get Phil Jackson. Once that didn’t happen their season has really spiraled out...

Bulls' Rose getting close to full-contact drills

Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose could soon be going through full-contact drills in practice. Coach Tom Thibodeau says Rose is ''very close'' to doing just that and it'll be ''the next step'' in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Asked if it could happen this week, Thibodeau responded, ''Yeah - it...

Rose getting close to full-contact drills

Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose could soon be going through full-contact drills in practice. Coach Tom Thibodeau says Rose is ''very close'' to doing just that and it'll be ''the next step'' in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Asked if it could happen this week, Thibodeau responded, ''Yeah, it...

Earl Clark plays well in starting role: 12 points and eight rebounds

So far, so good with Earl Clark. His first night as the Lakers' starting power forward ended in a loss, but Clark played well (12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks). Clark played 34 minutes, and it sounds like he's locked in going forward. Pick him up. Off the bench, Pau Gasol played 25 minutes but posted an efficient line: 15 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and...

Pau Gasol Says Trade “Certainly Looks Like A Possibility” Following Demotion To Bench

Mike D’Antoni announced Monday that Pau Gasol would be out as Lakers’ starter permanently. He stressed that the Lakers play better when they’re small and that Earl Clark, who played well in Gasol’s absence, is the new starting power forward. Well, Pau Gasol isn’t happy with the decision as you may of suspected. He recently made it clear that he wants to continue to be a...

Spotted: Derrick Rose And His ‘Little Bulls Fan’

Like father, like son? Derrick Rose and his ‘Little Bulls Fan’:

Derrick Rose ‘Could’ Return To Full Contact Practice This Week

Derrick Rose could be on the practice floor as soon as Tuesday. If not then, maybe Thursday. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said Monday evening that Rose, rehabbing his way back from ACL knee surgery, is “very close” to beginning full-contact practice. “That’ll be the next step,” the Bulls coach said before facing the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night at United Center. Did “very...

Kobe Takes Blame For Lakers' Disappointing Season

The season has been a colossal disappointment so far, and Kobe Bryant was willing to shoulder the blame not only for Sunday's defeat, but also for the entire season.

Pau Gasol unhappy with new bench role

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Bulls' Deng out for game vs. Grizzlies

APNewsNow. With AP Photos. Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng will miss Saturday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies with a sore right hamstring. Deng, averaging a team-high 17.4 points, tried to play through the injury Friday at Boston but scored a season-low three points on 1-of-6 shooting before aggravating the injury and exiting late in the third quarter. Bulls coach...

Lakers-Raptors Preview

With their four superstars together on the floor, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to build more chemistry while trying to turn things around on the road. Hoping to avoid their first five-game road skid in six years, the Lakers try for a fifth consecutive victory over the hard-luck Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Despite losing seven of nine, Los Angeles (17-22) was close to a victory...

Grizzlies 85, Bulls 82 (OT)

CHICAGO -- Marc Gasol scored 19 points, teammate Zach Randolph grabbed 19 rebounds and the Memphis low-post tandem helped lead the Grizzlies to an 85-82 overtime victory over Chicago at the United Center. Randolph and Gasol started the overtime with one putback basket each and the Bulls couldn't recover. Carlos Boozer came up short on a corner 3-point attempt at the buzzer...
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