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LeBron James rallies Lakers past Bulls, ending their 5-game losing streak

Lakers guard Rajon Rondo glides to the basket for two of his 14 points in front of Bulls guard Kris Dunn (32) during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
The Lakers’ Johnathan Williams is fouled by the Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Chicago. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Sound The gallery will resume in seconds CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dunks against the Chicago Bulls during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers blocks a shot by Kris Dunn #32 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives past Wayne Selden #14 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope dunks against the Chicago Bulls during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) dunks against the Chicago Bulls during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket past Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is fouled by Cristiano Felicio #6 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) goes to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers center Moritz Wagner (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) goes to to the basket against Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket past Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket past Otto Porter Jr. #22 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) goes to the basket against Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes to the basket past Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes to the basket past Chicago Bulls guard Wayne Selden (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MARCH 12: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers blocks a shot by Kris Dunn #32 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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CHICAGO — The energy lacking in the Lakers’ locker room for the past week and a half was finally found.
LeBron James brought it with a dunking exhibition that was well worth the price of admission to United Center on Tuesday night.
A reverse jam from a full-court bounce pass from Kyle Kuzma was sweet enough that the road game ops crew decided to play it on the jumbotron. In the fourth quarter, Josh Hart tossed one up off the backboard, leaving James to finish with another reverse flush.
It was a strong road performance for King James who finished with 36 points and 10 rebounds. And most importantly for the Lakers, the team finally won – cutting off a five-game losing streak that has cratered the team’s playoff hopes and, at times, their spirit.
Things seemed to be going down that path again for the Lakers, who trailed by as much as 20 in the first half before James, who played 33 minutes despite the Lakers’ regulation of his playing time, helped lead them back within striking distance.
A 12-point third quarter by Kyle Kuzma helped swing a 22-5 run that broke in the Lakers’ favor. Veterans such as JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo, who have been flagging in recent weeks, helped press the Bulls defensively. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 24 points despite being moved to the bench.
Robin Lopez led the Bulls with 20 points, as Chicago was officially eliminated from playoff contention.
“Lackluster” might not be a strong enough word for the Lakers’ start. At times, it seemed like sleepwalking. Inattentive play on defense and on the glass allowed the Bulls to open a 34-16 lead after the first quarter.
More to come on this story.

 LEBRON OFF THE BOUNCE

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