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Kobe Bryant and the Lakers took the spotlight in another NBA season opener. But the Chicago Bulls would spoil the L-A debut with a dramatic come-from-behind effort.
The Bulls led by 7 in the third quarter. But Derek Fisher broke up a pass and Bryant went the distance for a breakaway dunk. Two minutes later, it's the Bulls' newly acquired guard Rip Hamilton with a hook shot and score, Bulls up by four.
Kobe played well despite his wrist injury. He stole a pass and sent the ball to Fisher for a transition hoop. That one put the Lakers on top by two. In the fourth quarter, the Bulls refused to fade under pressure. Derrick Rose raced into the paint to hit an up-and-under. Chicago took a 9 point lead.
But Rose and the Bulls gave up the lead and trailed by one with ten seconds to go. Rose went one-on-one with Fisher and gave Chicago a 1 point lead 4.8 seconds remaining on the clock. Rose hit for 22 points in the game.
The Lakers' last chance went to Bryant on the drive. Kobe got a look at the winner, but Chicago’s Luol Deng stopped him with a huge block. Chicago beat the Lakers, 88-87.
Derrick Rose said, "I told them that we've been in the situation before. They are a news team with a new system. I said that they haven't been in the circumstances yet. We have been there. Thank God we got a couple of steals, a couple of plays and won the game."
Kobe Bryant said, "We are going to be very good defensively, very good. The offense with the turnovers, we just have to get used to the spacing, where they are going to be in certain spots. We just have to get out of old habits of where people will be. But, that will work itself out. On defense we are solid."