The 2010-2011 NBA season certainly didn't end how either of these two teams would have liked. After a bright start to the series, the Bulls were brushed aside by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lakers, meanwhile, bid farewell to Phil Jackson with a flurry off technical fouls and ejections in a defeat to the eventual world champions in the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Bulls return from a quiet offseason with high hopes and the reigning MVP Derrick Rose while the Lakers have found themselves -- perhaps fittingly considering their hometown -- in the spotlight before this shortened campaign got underway. First, the Lakers reportedly agreed to a complex trade to bring Chris Paul to Los Angeles. Although CP3 arrived in Los Angeles, he will be playing for the other tenant in the Staples Center -- the Clippers. After that, Kobe Bryant's divorce from his wife, Vanessa, became headline news. While speculation over how much of Kobe's career earnings his soon-to-be ex-wife will be entitled to in any divorce settlement has run rampant, it's possible that the Clippers have a greater affect on Kobe's play on Christmas. During one of the two preseason meetings between the housemate franchises, Kobe injured his wrist after having a shot blocked by DeAndre Jordan. While he will reportedly play on Christmas it remains to be seen how the injury will limit him. Will he lead the way? Will Pau Gasol feel jilted by his involvement in the botched CP3 trade? Or will the relatively drama-free Bulls steal the show?
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12/25/2011 8:01 PM EST
@ ArashMarkazi :
Kobe in the paint got a good look but it was blocked clean. No complaints from Kobe as he quietly walks off the court.
12/25/2011 8:00 PM EST
Kobe gets the inbound pass and drives to his right but gets BLOCKED BY LOUL DENG. THAT'S THE GAME. BULLS WIN 88-87!
12/25/2011 7:59 PM EST
The Bulls get the steal they need after double teaming Kobe on the inbound play. Deng gets the steal and gets it to Derrick Rose. Rose drives to the lane and makes a running floater with the right hand with 4.8 seconds left. Bulls take a one-point lead.
12/25/2011 7:56 PM EST
1 Point Game
Deng makes both free throws to cut the Lakers lead to 87-76. 20.4 seconds left. Timeout Lakers.
12/25/2011 7:55 PM EST
Kobe misses a jumper and Deng gets the defensive rebound. The refs call a foul on Kobe to give Deng a pair of free throws with 20.4 seconds left.
12/25/2011 7:54 PM EST
29.7 Seconds Left
Shot clock has eight left for the Lakers. Ball goes out of bounds off the Bulls.
12/25/2011 7:53 PM EST
Three The Hard Way
Loul Deng misses a 3-pointer off the front of the rim. But Deng gets the offensive rebound and makes a driving layup. AND ONE. He completes the 3-point play and cuts the lead to 3.
12/25/2011 7:51 PM EST
Kobe Being Kobe
Lakers work the ball to Kobe and let him go one-on-one with Deng. Kobe got past Deng, spun aaway from Noah at the low post and knocked down a turnaround fadeaway jumper from the baseline to put the Lakers up by six.
12/25/2011 7:49 PM EST
McRoberts At The Line
Josh McRoberts goes to the line after drawing a foul on Brewers and misses both. But Gasol and Noah battle for the rebound and the ball goes off Noah's knee and out of bounds. Lakers ball. It's under review but the replay looked clear to me. Lakers ball. 1:12 to go. That's four missed free throws in a row by the Lakers.
12/25/2011 7:48 PM EST
Boozer cuts the basket and gets a pass from Rose. He makes the hard layup to cut the lead to four.