One more win and the Los Angeles Lakers will overtake the slumping Utah Jazz in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The two clubs have identical 32-31 records and a win for the Lakers over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night will put the 16-time NBA champions in the postseason picture for the first time this season.
Los Angeles is coming off a 118-116 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors Friday night. Led by Kobe Bryant, the Lakers rallied from 10 points down in the final period.
The All-Star guard nailed the game-tying trey to force overtime and scored the go-ahead dunk in the extra period to lead the Lakers to their fourth win in five games.
Bryant finished with 41 points, 12 assists and six rebounds. Dwight Howard had 24 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots while Steve Nash added 22.
The Lakers will welcome a Bulls squad minus several key players. Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson are still uncertain while Richard Hamilton is not likely to make the trip to LA. All-Star guard Derrick Rose is not yet ready to make his return according to head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Despite being plagued by injuries, the Bulls (35-27) still managed to remain above .500. In fact, they are coming off an 89-88 win over the Jazz to snap a two-game skid.
Marco Belinelli drained a trey with 5.9 seconds left to seal the win for the Bulls. The Italian guard finished with 22 points.
Carlos Boozer also had 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against his former team while tiny Nate Robinson tallied 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Luol Deng added 12 points while Joakim Noah had nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
In their first meeting this season, the Bulls rolled past the Lakers 95-83 at the United Center.
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