NBA: Rose Torches Kobe, Lakers

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At the Lakers morning shootaround Friday in Chicago, Kobe Bryant was asked if his post-game conversation with Derrick Rose after their first meeting, was apart of a “passing the torch” process.

Bryant responded “I ain’t passing sh*t”.

Turns out ol’ Bean was right, because Rose completed the first step in taking it from him Friday night. The third-year pro out of Memphis University scored 29 points, dished out nine assists and scored several clutch baskets, leading the Bulls(13-8) to an 88-84 victory over the two-time defending NBA champions.

The victory snapped Chicago’s seven game losing streak against the Lakers(16-7), going back to December of 2006….

Los Angeles jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first quarter, scoring at will on the Bulls and nearly running them out of the building. Before settling down, Chicago missed a few dunks, committed six turnovers and shot a dismal 25% from the field. In the first 18 minutes of the game, the Bulls were 6-27 from the field and managed to score 15 points.

Struggling to make sense of their offensive futility, Chicago went on a 19-3 run in the final six minutes of the second quarter to take a 36-32 halftime lead.

In the second half, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver gave the Bulls some solid minutes on the perimeter;Korver scored eight of his 13 in the second period, Brewer adding 10 points and nailing all six of his attempts at the charity stripe. Brewer had a sensational swat of Kobe Bryant, then scored on the break to give the Bulls a 59-53 lead.

Both Brewer and Deng did all they could defensively to slow down Kobe, who led the Lakers with 23 points, but shot 9-23 from the field and missed two, crucial free-throws in the fourth quarter. Pau Gasol finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, Lamar Odom had 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds.

The fourth quarter belonged to Rose, who displayed a killer instinct of his own, showing what a true closer looks like. When Chicago needed him most, the All-Star guard knocked down a sweet, left-handed scoop shot on one play, and beat the shot-clock with a bucket as Kobe went for the ball.

The nail in the coffin was his step-back jumper with 25.2 seconds left pushed the Bulls lead to 85-80, capping an 11-2 run as they never looked back from there.

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