Midway through the third quarter on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls looked poised for an upset over the Los Angeles Lakers.
But the rough start to the season in Chicago got even rougher as the Lakers mounted a rally with their stars on the bench to secure a 118-112 victory in Chicago.
And while Lakers role players did the heavy lifting in the rally, LeBron James kept up his torrid pace, posting a third straight triple-double with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Bulls blow it
The Bulls looked in full control while building a 67-48 lead early in the third quarter and maintaining a double-digit lead into the fourth.
When James left the floor late in the third, the Bulls led, 88-78. When he returned with 8:37 remaining in the fourth, the Lakers had rallied to take a 94-93 lead that they built while Anthony Davis was also resting on the bench.
Davis and James closed things out in the late stages of the game as the Lakers reeled off their sixth straight win since an opening-night loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Role players lead rally
Kyle Kuzma did a lot of the offensive damage in the rally en route to 15 points and four rebounds in his third game back since a foot injury sidelined him early in the season. Quinn Cook played a big role off the bench as well, posting 17 points and four rebounds while running the offense for much of the second-half rally.
Davis was relatively quiet, posting 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
It was a difficult loss for the Bulls, who squandered a chance for a momentum-building win over a title contender only to fall to 2-6.
Zach Lavine led the Bulls with 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
The Lakers will look to make it seven straight on Friday with a home game against the Miami Heat.
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