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Lakers 123, Bulls 118 (2OT)

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LOS ANGELES — Forward Jordan Hill scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers halted a nine-game skid with a thrilling 123-118 double-overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night at Staples Center.

Guard Wayne Ellington added 23 points as the Lakers (13-34) avoided matching the 1993-94 club for the franchise’s worst losing streak. Point guard Jordan Clarkson had 18 points, and forward Carlos Boozer finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles.

Guard Jimmy Butler led Chicago (30-18) with 35 points, while forward Pau Gasol, in his first return to Staples since he spurned the Lakers to sign as a free agent with Chicago, had 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Point guard Derrick Rose finished with 17 points, guard Aaron Brooks scored 15, and center Joakim Noah contributed nine points, nine assists and 17 rebounds.

The Bulls fell for the second time in three games.

Hill’s jumper with 1:53 left in the second overtime gave the Lakers a 114-109 lead. It was too much for the Bulls to overcome.

Rose hit a 3-pointer to open the first overtime for Chicago’s first lead, but the Bulls failed to hold a five-point advantage down the stretch. Los Angeles tied the score at 106 on a drive by Ellington followed by a jumper by Hill with 16.2 seconds remaining, forcing a second extra period.

The Lakers appeared to have the game wrapped up in regulation. They held a 92-83 lead after a basket inside by center Robert Sacre with 5:39 left in the game. The Bulls sliced the deficit to four, but Los Angeles pushed the cushion back to nine after a three-point play by Clarkson with 2:08 left.

However, two free throws, a 3-pointer and a dunk by Butler with 44.2 seconds remaining cut the margin to 98-96. Gasol tied the score on a tip-in with 11 seconds left.

Hill’s jump hook in the lane just before the horn in regulation went in and out.

Los Angeles again played without guard Nick Young, who missed his second consecutive game due to a sprained right ankle.

NOTES: Chicago SG Jimmy Butler found out about his selection as a reserve to the NBA Eastern Conference All-Star squad at his club’s morning shoot around Thursday. “I think everybody would love to make the All-Star team in their career,” said Butler, the Bulls’ leading scorer at 20.1 points per game. “I feel like I’ve come a long way since I started (in Chicago), since I started playing basketball. I guess you could say that that’s one thing you would want as a kid growing up is to be in the league (and) be an All-Star.” … Bulls F Mike Dunleavy sat out the contest with an injured right ankle. … Chicago resumes its six-game road trip at Phoenix against the Suns on Friday. … The Lakers begin a four-game Eastern swing against the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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