CHICAGO — The Lakers rallied to defeat the Chicago Bulls tonight at the United Center because their backups ignited a withering 28-5 run to start the fourth quarter. The Bench Mob has had its share of struggles recently, but came through when called upon and propelled the Lakers to a 117-109 victory to start their seven-game trip.
Kobe Bryant scored 28 points and Pau Gasol added 23 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds, but they were on the bench when backups Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton, Sasha Vujacic and Josh Powell joined with starter Lamar Odom to seize control.
Farmar scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. Walton scored all five of his points in the final period as did Vujacic. Powell had both of his two in the fourth and Odom had three of his 13 in the final quarter.
“They got some turnovers,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “When you do that, you can get some run-outs and make things happen. Just little things like getting loose balls, getting down the floor. They helped each other out, guys played together. We got Sasha some shots and Jordan was very effective out there. It was good to see that tonight. The confidence is very important. They recognize they have to help each other out, that’s the first thing. The second thing is that they have to stay aggressive.”