Watch as the Bulls continue their Circus Trip and take on the Los Angeles Lakers tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.
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Five Things to Watch
1. Responding to a loss. The Bulls' four-game winning streak was snapped in the loss at the Clippers on Saturday. The last time the Bulls had a winning streak snapped, when they won the first three games of the season, they lost two more games for a three-game losing streak. The circus trip can have a cumulative effect with the team staying on the road and facing a number of quality opponents. Bouncing back against the Lakers would also mean the Bulls would at least finish .500 on the road trip.
2. Same building, different team. The Bulls can keep their stuff in the away lockers for another night because they'll be playing at the Staples Center less than 24 hours after the game against the Clippers finished. Last year, the Lakers hosted the Bulls on Jan. 28, a 114-91 Bulls win, and the Clippers played host to the Bulls three days later, 120-93 Clippers win. This time around it's not only back-to-back games for the Bulls at the Staples Center, but on back-to-back nights as well.
3. Bench production. After getting 24 points against the Trail Blazers and 23 points against the Jazz, the Bulls' bench scored just 15 in the loss to the Clippers. Isaiah Canaan did score eight Saturday night, but Nikola Mirotic shot just 1-7 from the field and Bobby Portis managed just two points, three rebounds and four fouls in 20 minutes. On the second night of a back-to-back the Bulls will likely have to lean on their bench more, which means a better performance from the bench will be key.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
4. This isn't last year's Lakers. The Bulls won both of last year's meetings with the Lakers by double digits, but the Lakers are much improved from the team that won 17 games last year. The Lakers come in to Sunday's game with a 7-6 record and sit in a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Second-year guard D'Angelo Russell is the Lakers' leading scorer, but LA has five players averaging more than 14 points and less than 17 per game. In addition to Russell, the Lakers' double-figure scorers are Louis Williams, Jordan Clarkson, Nick Young and Julius Randle.
5. Reaction from Hoiberg's ejection? Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was ejected for the first time in his career in the loss to the Clippers. Will that spark the Bulls to play with more fire knowing their coach showed some in a loss or will it just be business as usual? This could end up being a non-story in a few days, but it could also signify a change in Hoiberg and the Bulls.
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