Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/20

Game 1: Sunday, November 20th
Bulls96Final
Lakers93
Game 2: Friday, December 9th
Lakers93Final
Bulls80

Bulls 96

(4-5, 1-4 away)

Lakers 93

(4-6, 2-3 home)

    Coverage: FSW

    6:30 PM ET, November 20, 2005

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 26 25 23 2296
    LAL 22 27 22 2293

    Top Performers

    Chi: M. Sweetney 20 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    LAL: K. Bryant 43 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    CHI
    LAL
    Points 96 93
    FGM-FGA 38-89 (.427) 33-78 (.423)
    3PM-3PA 7-14 (.500) 6-21 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 13-18 (.722) 21-32 (.656)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-48 9-38
    Assists 25 19
    Turnovers 16 11
    Steals 4 9
    Blocks 5 4
    Fast Break Points 13 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 21 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 9 8

    Top Performers

    Chicago
    Los Angeles
    Michael Sweetney Sweetney
    Points: 20
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 3
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 43
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0