Los Angeles, CA – Ahead by 11 points with 3:44 remaining, the opening win over the Bulls.
But Chicago scored the final seven points Sunday, as Luol Deng came up with several big defensive plays and Derrick Rose got a tough one-handed runner to fall in the closing seconds, giving the Bulls an exciting 88-87 victory.
Kobe Bryant gave Los Angeles an 87-81 lead on a fadeaway baseline jumper with 54.6 seconds left, though the star guard appeared to aggravate a torn ligament in his right wrist while falling to the hardwood.
Deng was short on a three-pointer at the other end, but followed his miss and attacked the basket, getting a layup to fall while being fouled. Deng made the ensuing free throw and two more at the stripe after a Bryant miss to pull the Chicago within 87-86 with 20.4 seconds to go.
After a timeout, Deng stole Bryant's entry pass to Pau Gasol, setting the stage for the reigning MVP to decide the game.
Rose answered the call by taking Derek Fisher off the dribble, then contorted his body around the seven-foot Gasol while getting his one-hand runner to fall through with 4.8 seconds remaining.
Bryant had one last chance to steal the win, but his drive was met by a trio of defenders at the baseline, and Deng's block as the buzzer sounded sealed the comeback win.