LeBron James and Anthony Davis led Lakers past Bulls 121-110


CHICAGO — LeBron James is looking to improve his stamina, and there are still a few small things he’s working on.

“I think by the end of the road trip I should be pretty good,” he said.

He certainly looked pretty good on Wednesday night.

James scored 25 points on his return to the starting 11 and led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 121-110 win over the Chicago Bulls.

James also had seven rebounds and four assists back in 31 minutes in his second game after missing a month with a torn tendon in his right foot. The four-time MVP scored 19 points in Sunday’s 118-108 loss to Chicago in his second appearance as a reserve in his 20-year NBA career.

“I just have faith in the work I’ve put in,” James said. “I know I put a lot of work into it. I know my body.”

Los Angeles (38-38) was battling for playoff spot in the Western Conference and started a five-game journey with its fourth win in five games. Anthony Davis had 38 points and 10 rebounds in his hometown and D’Angelo Russell had 17 points.

“I always look forward to coming home,” Davis said. “Kind of one of the first games I watch when the schedule falls. … It’s always a great feeling to come back, especially when you win.”

Nikola Vucevic had 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Chicago in its second straight loss. DeMar DeRozan had 22 points and reserve Coby White had 17 points and nine assists.

The Bulls (36-40) are 10th in the Eastern Conference and are clinging to last place for the play-in tournament.

“Obviously we didn’t finish the (first) half very well. … And in the third quarter LeBron took some hard shots and then our inability to score with them hurt us,” said coach Billy Donovan.

LaVine’s dunk put Chicago within seven by 56.7 seconds in the third. But Los Angeles quickly pulled away in the final third.

Dennis Schröder’s three-point game made it 97-79 with 8:22 left, capping a 12-3 Lakers run. Davis scored on his only 3-point attempt with 6:07 left to give Los Angeles a 105-87 lead.

Austin Reaves added 19 points for the Lakers, who shot 52% (45 for 86) from the field.

“I just wanted to try and get them in some awkward positions with their defense,” Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham said, “and spread the ball out a bit, not overdose on an action or two, just try to do it slowly Run through the offense and see what has brought us the most returns.

After leading 17 times in the first quarter, Los Angeles ended the first half with a 10-0 run and took a 59-51 lead at the break. James made four foul shots and a ride layup during the sprint.

Reaves had a little fun with former teammate Patrick Beverley in the fourth quarter.

After driving into the lane and doing a floater over Beverley with 2:50 left, Reaves lowered his right hand to make the dismissive “too small” gesture sometimes used by NBA players to warn their opponents to mock.

Beverley did the same against James on Sunday.

“I wasn’t thinking about playing the whole game,” Reaves said. “But I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. Me and Pat (have) a good relationship. i respect him Only I compete.”

Lakers: Russell (right hip pain) started after being sidelined in the last two games. He went off the field 7 for 12. … Led by Davis, Los Angeles had a 45-32 rebound advantage.

Bulls: C Andre Drummond missed the game for personal reasons. Drummond posted on Twitter on Tuesday that he was deleting his social media apps to focus on his mental health. … G Alex Caruso (left foot pain) returned to the starting lineup after missing Monday night’s 124-112 loss to the Clippers. … Vucevic scored Chicago’s first 13 points of the game.

Lakers: Friday night in Minnesota. The Lakers are 0-2 against the Timberwolves this season.

Bulls: In Charlotte on Friday night. The Bulls are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Hornets.

Follow Jay Cohen below https://twitter.com/jcohenap

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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