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Hanley in the Sun-Times:

LOS ANGELES -- Mike Sweetney continued to impress in the Bulls' 96-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night.

The 6-8, 280-pound forward acquired from the New York Knicks as part of Eddy Curry trade, entered the game as the Bulls' second-leading rebounder (8.1 per game) and fourth-leading scorer (11.6). He scored 20 and grabbed 12 rebounds against the Lakers.

''I think Mike's played very well for us all year, whether off the bench or starting,'' Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. ''We'd like to even get him more involved. We'd like to get him the ball more and see what he can do. We're trying to drive that point home, we'd like to play off him inside because he also passes the ball out of there very well. It's something our guys are trying to get used to.''

Bulls center Tyson Chandler said Sweetney's presence helps him.

''He helps me with rebounding because people concentrate on him,'' Chandler said. ''Then I can get easy putbacks."
And here:

LOS ANGELES -- Mom's homecooking turned out to be health food for Los Angeles-area native Tyson Chandler.

''She had the barbecue rolling and everything going,'' said the Bulls 7-1 center, who dined on everything from pork chops, cornbread, and sweet potatoes.

But it was the heaping helping of confidence that Chandler's mother and family dished out that helped calm the anxiety that was eating at him before the Bulls' dramatic 96-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The victory snapped the Bulls' three-game losing streak this trip.

''It cleared my mind of everything,'' said Chandler, who grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and was a defensive machine in the waning minutes of the victory. ''I had a talk with my mom and my brother-in-law, and they were like: 'You're not having fun out there.'

''I didn't look like the person they know and love. My brother-in-law called me again before the game and said, 'Remember man, clear your mind and play.'''

Chris Duhon, who had 11 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, buried two three-pointers in those final five minutes. But Chandler's defense was as important. He blocked Andrew Bynum's lane attempt with 40.8 seconds left and the game tied at 93. Luol Deng (14 points) grabbed the loose ball and called timeout.

''That timeout came at a good time,'' said Kirk Hinrich, who had 16 points and eight assists. ''Because the wheels were starting to fall off there. We just came out, played with poise, and just forgot about the last five or six minutes where it had been just downhill, it was just killing us.''
Smith in the Tribune:


LOS ANGELES -- Lakers coach Phil Jackson was musing before Sunday night's game about just how the Bulls would try to deal with Kobe Bryant.

"I don't see why they'll even go guard the other guys," Jackson said. "They should all go just guard him. Put five against one."
The Bulls threw everything they could at Bryant. Duhon, Andres Nocioni, Luol Deng, Hinrich and even Eddie Basden, active for the game to guard Bryant, took some duty. Still, Bryant added 13 in the third quarter.

"You do the best you can to limit his touches," Skiles said. "The fact is he can jump over just about anybody in the league and shoot when he wants to. So you have to make it difficult on him and make him take difficult shots. But he's as difficult to match up with as anyone in the league."
McGraw in the Daily Herald:

LOS ANGELES — Tyson Chandler put it well when he said, “When the circus comes to town, we’re the circus on the road.”

It’s been well-documented how the Bulls lost 41 of 42 games since 1998 on their annual November road trip, which coincides with the circus moving into the United Center.
Bulls coach Scott Skiles made a bold move leaving Duhon on the floor late in the game while fourth-quarter specialist Ben Gordon was on the bench.

“I never sell Chris short,” Skiles said. “He has a big heart, he plays hard, and I’ve seen him make big shots before. I’m happy for him. I know he was a little down about the way he’s shot the ball.”
And more of a straight game story here:

LA Daily News:

Maybe it was seeing the Chicago Bulls on the schedule, but Lakers coach Phil Jackson went digging around the film archives on Saturday morning, trying to find tape of the 1991 NBA Finals, a Bulls/Lakers series from a previous era.
What Jackson wanted to show his newest team was just how a superstar guard and his teammates joined in concert on the court. How those Bulls found a balance in their offense and how Michael Jordan handled the double teams that came his way.

One day of film study, as it turns out, wasn't nearly enough for these Lakers. They tried things Sunday night with Kobe Bryant playing 46 minutes and shooting 34 times and lost to the Bulls 96-93 at Staples Center.

"We will have to find another alternative to 34 shots out of 78," Jackson said. "That's too high a percentage of shots for Kobe to take or the team to absorb. We have to do better than that."
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