In one of their better all-around performances of the season, the Bulls improved to 10-4 in embarrassing the Lakers, and sending Davis to the locker room early.
LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis was tossed from the game in the third quarter.
It was one of the few results that a Laker executed successfully on the evening.
Thanks to a smothering defense and a barrage of three-pointers, the visiting Bulls completed their two-game sweep of the Los Angeles teams, hammering the Lakers on Monday 121-103.
The win improved the Bulls to 10-4 on the season, but more importantly continued to serve notice that they are not to be taken lightly in the Eastern Conference.
Not when DeMar DeRozan continues playing at an MVP level, returning to his hometown and putting up 35 against the Clippers and then 38 against a Laker team that felt it was more important to have Russell Westbrook than DeRozan this past offseason.
Or former UCLA standout Zach LaVine returning to his old stomping grounds and chipping in 26.
Then there was one-time Laker Lonzo Ball, who was shipped to New Orleans before becoming a Bull. All he did was score 27 and his seven threes.
Even Alex Caruso jumped into the homecoming festivities, starting for the second straight game and earning a video tribute and standing ovation from his former organization and the role he played in the 2019 NBA Championship.
“Every night you’ve got to find some extra motivation and we’ve got a couple guys that played here, from here, so just having that extra juice of energy to go out there and compete, it’s always beneficial,’’ DeRozan said of the latest win.
Extra motivation seemed to be an understatement, especially the way they handled Davis on the night. The All-Star scored 20 against the under-sized Bulls, but they made him work for every one of those 20 points.
The fact that Coby White made his 2021-22 season debut after offseason shoulder surgery was a mere footnote.
White was on a minutes restriction, playing 11 minutes, and was obviously rusty, but it was his first step as far as easing back into it.
“I think it was just good for him to be out there and playing,’’ coach Billy Donovan said. “Like I said before the game, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. You spend all this time shooting and working on your game, and it’s a little bit different when 7-foot guys are flying at you to block your shot.
“I’m just happy for him that he could get out there and play.’’