Bulls vs. Lakers results: Lakers slide into playoff picture with a 90-81 victory

USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers controlled the game on both ends of the floor and defeated the Chicago Bulls. Los Angeles now slides into the eighth seed in the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers dominated the Chicago Bulls in a 90-81 victory, and have slid ahead of the Utah Jazz for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff standings.

After back-to-back games with at least 40 points and 12 assists, Kobe Bryant scored 19 points while dishing out 9 assists to go with his 7 rebounds. Steve Nash scored 16 points and was key in pushing the Lakers offense in the third quarter, where they outscored Chicago, 29-21.

The Lakers pulled ahead by the end of the third quarter, but the Bulls were back in the game early in the fourth after Carlos Boozer cut the lead down to eight. Los Angeles tightened up their execution on both ends of the floor and pulled away after a handful of assists from Bryant.

Dwight Howard continued his dominant play since the All-Star break as he set strong screens and was like Windex as he cleaned the glass to the tune of 21 rebounds. Unsurprisingly, Howard struggled from the free-throw line, missing all five of his attempts, but ended the game with 16 points.

Chicago was ice-cold from beyond the arc, going only 4-for-16 from deep. The Lakers fared about the same, going 5-for-26 in three-point field goals, putting up a lower percentage at a much higher quantity than Chicago.

The Bulls were led by Nate Robinson in scoring as he chipped in 19 points. Joakim Noah also had a big game, scoring 18 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. The Bulls' bench was only able to add 10 points to the scoreboard, while Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks combined for 16 points.

The Lakers have won eight of their last ten games after struggling to pass the .500 mark on the season until their victory over the Toronto Raptors Friday night. The Lakers hit the road for Howard's return to Orlando on Tuesday. The Bulls next play Wednesday in Sacramento against the Kings.

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