<
>

Bulls hold off Lakers despite Kobe's 43

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When the circus comes to town, the Chicago
Bulls hit the road.

And almost always lose.

Not Sunday night.

Chris Duhon scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter,
and the Bulls beat the Los Angeles Lakers 96-93 despite 43 points
by Kobe Bryant, matching an NBA single-game high this season.

The Bulls won their first game after three losses on their
annual Western swing while the circus is at the United Center.

Chicago had been 1-41 on this yearly trip that began in 1999.

"Two now," Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich said with a grin.
"Everybody's aware of it because every time we leave, it's in the
paper."

Said Chicago's Tyson Chandler: "When the circus is in town,
we're the circus on the road. It's about time we got a win."

The Bulls won by outscoring the Lakers 11-1 after Smush Parker's
3-pointer with 4:03 remaining gave Los Angeles a 92-85 lead.

Michael Sweetney, who had 20 points, 12 rebounds and three
blocked shots, made a free throw with 24.8 seconds remaining to
break a 93-93 tie, and Bryant missed badly from close range about
10 seconds later.

Duhon was fouled and made two free throws with 11 seconds left
to complete the scoring. Bryant and Lamar Odom each missed
3-pointers before time expired.

Bryant, who shot 17-of-34, didn't score after his basket with
7:25 to play put the Lakers on top 84-77. Washington's Gilbert
Arenas also scored 43 points in a game against San Antonio on Nov.
12.

"I really don't want to shoot the ball that many times," said
Bryant, who has taken 105 shots in the last three games. "It's
important for other people to step up and make significant
contributions at the offensive end."

Los Angeles played without starting forward Kwame Brown,
expected to be sidelined up to two weeks because if a strained
right hamstring. Forwards Slava Medvedenko and Luke Walton are
sidelined with injuries as well, leaving the Lakers very thin up
front.

Hinrich had 16 points and eight assists for the Bulls. Duhon
also had eight assists. Chandler had 15 rebounds to lead Chicago to
a 48-38 advantage in that department.

"Without Kwame, we area a lot smaller," Lakers coach Phil
Jackson said. "The way they pounded the boards, those two kids
(Chandler and Sweetney), we really should take a lesson from that.
The shooting is going to come and go, the uncontested rebounds,
that's what bothered me."

Chris Mihm added 13 points for the Lakers, who have lost five of
their last six games. Odom, averaging 14.8 points, was held to six.
He was limited to 29 minutes by foul problems but did have 10
rebounds and five assists.

Lakers rookie Andrew Bynum scored his first NBA points on a dunk
with 9:38 left, and added two free throws 29 seconds later to give
the Lakers a 76-74 lead -- their first since the opening period.

After a 3-pointer by Duhon, the Lakers outscored the Bulls 11-2
for an 87-79 lead. Sasha Vujacic made two 3-pointers and Bryant
scored the other five points during the run.

It was 92-85 when Hinrich and Duhon each made 3-pointers and
Andres Nocioni added a layup, giving the Bulls a 93-92 lead. A free
throw by Odom with 1:25 to play tied the game at 93.

Bynum then had an opportunity to give the Lakers the lead, but
his shot was blocked by Chandler.

"That was just my own stupidity," Bynum said. "I had a bunch
of moves I should have made, but I just tried to go up real quick.
I should have either gone up with a left-handed hook or a pump-fake
there and took a dribble. But I just tried to rush it up and it got
blocked."

Bryant scored eight straight Los Angeles points to give him 35
before he came out of the game for the only time with 4:10 left in
the third period and the Lakers trailing 67-65. He sat out nearly 2
minutes, returning with the game tied.

The Bulls led 74-71 entering the final period.
^Notes:@ Laron Profit, acquired with Brown from Washington during
the offseason, made his first start for the Lakers. He had two
points in 18 minutes. ... Brown said he heard something pop in his
leg when he tried to steal the ball from Clippers guard Sam Cassell
on Friday night. Brown said he hopes to return in less than two
weeks. ... The Bulls had lost seven of their last eight games to
the Lakers in Los Angeles. ... Walton, who hasn't played this
season because of an injuries to his left hamstring and right hip,
plans to practice Tuesday and hopes to return Thursday night
against Seattle. ... Bryant, Odom and Chandler all picked up
technical fouls in the third period.