Bulls beat Lakers 126-115 to spoil Kobe Bryant’s Chicago farewell

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CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Rose and E'Twaun Moore had 24 points apiece Sunday night to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 126-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Kobe Bryant‘s final game at the United Center.

Moore, who was 10 for 14 from the field, tied his career high. Pau Gasol had 21 points, Mike Dunleavy and Bobby Portis each scored 17 and Doug McDermott added 16 as the Bulls won their second straight.

Bryant finished with 22 points on 8-for-20 shooting in 27 minutes. Julius Randle also had 22 points and Jordan Clarkson added 20 as Los Angeles dropped its fifth in a row.

The Bulls played a video tribute to Bryant during the introductions of the Lakers’ starters. Rose referred to Bryant as his generation’s Michael Jordan, and the salute ended with Gasol introducing his former teammate.

Bryant received a standing ovation and the crowd broke into a “Kobe! Kobe!” chant.

Early in the third quarter, Bryant hit back-to-back jumpers to tie the score at 66. Gasol then answered with a 3-pointer to spark a string of eight straight points for a 74-66 Chicago lead.

The Bulls had a 98-81 lead at the end of the third quarter and stretched it to 100-81 in the opening minute of the fourth.

Bryant started the quarter on the bench and the United Center fans – sensing he might not return – chanted his name on a few occasions.

Before Bryant returned, Los Angeles made a run, cutting the lead to 108-105 on Nick Young‘s 3-pointer midway through the fourth. The Lakers, though, couldn’t get any closer as the Bulls hung on.

Bryant returned with 3:08 remaining and the score 117-110. He left with 45.3 seconds left with the Bulls up 124-113.

TIP-INS

Lakers: F Anthony Brown (sprained right ankle) missed his third straight game. . Bryant was playing with a dislocated middle finger on his right hand. “It’s a little numb but I still feel the ball pretty well,” he said.

Bulls: Jimmy Butler (sprained left knee) and Nikola Mirotic (appendicitis) are still at least two weeks from returning to action, according to coach Fred Hoiberg. “He’s still not able to do much running; he still has pain in that abdomen,” Hoiberg said of Mirotic.