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NBA -- Hinrich sizzles, Bulls hold off Lakers


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Kirk Hinrich came through with a game-high 22 points and eight assists and the Chicago Bulls pulled away late in the fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 95-83, Monday night at the United Center.

The 32-year old Hinrich, a nine-year pro who has struggled with injuries and has missed five starts this season, outplayed his more celebrated Lakers counterpart, Steve Nash, who finished with 18 and six assists.

And while Hinrich found his mark, shooting 9-for-11 from the field, Lakers star Kobe Bryant had a forgettable outing in which he only had 16 points after heaving 22 field goals. With Kobe out of sync, the Lakers offense sputtered and managed just 32 of 81 field goals for a woeful 39.5 percent. L.A. couldn't get going from 3-point range either, sinking just three of 17 triples.

"I feel like it's about time. I just had it going. It seemed like every time I got off a pick-and-roll I had a good look. I was in rhythm and just letting them go," Hinrich told the Chicago Tribune of his unexpected offensive explosion.

Five other Bulls finished in double figures in points. Marco Belinelli tallied 15 while Carlos Boozer had 14 and six rebounds. Rip Hamilton had 13 and Nate Robinson added 11. Jimmy Butler, starting in place of the injured Luol Deng (right hamstring), registered 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Bulls improved to 24-16, second place behind the 26-16 Indiana Pacers in the Central Division.

The Lakers, meanwhile, lost their third in a row and fell to 17-24. At 12th place in the Western Conference, the Lakers are in danger of missing the playoffs. (JR)

Photo: Wily veteran Kirk Hinrich notched 22 points and eight assists to lead the Chicago Bulls past the Los Angeles Lakers, 95-82, at the United Center last Monday night.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Julian Ramirez.


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