Basketball: Butler leads charge as rampaging Bulls trample hapless Lakers

Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler (left) stealing the ball from Los Angeles Lakers' D'Angelo Russell on Jan 28, 2016.
Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler (left) stealing the ball from Los Angeles Lakers' D'Angelo Russell on Jan 28, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Guard Jimmy Butler scored 26 points and dished out 10 assists, and centre Pau Gasol had 21 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 114-91 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Thursday.

Butler, who also recorded four steals and collected five rebounds, connected on 11-of-17 shots for the Bulls, winners of two of their last three national Basketball Association league games.

Former Laker Gasol hit 9-of-17 shots. Chicago point guard Derrick Rose contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while forward Doug McDermott added 15 points.

Guard Jordan Clarkson scored 16 points and forward Julius Randle and guard Nick Young finished with 14 points apiece for Los Angeles.

Randle also grabbed eight rebounds for the Lakers, who lost their eighth game in a row and 12th in the past 13 games.

The Bulls, who never trailed and led by as many as 28, seized control from the start.

They posted a double-digit lead with less than three minutes remaining in the first quarter and never allowed the margin to dip below 12 the rest of the way.

Chicago (26-19) jumped out to a 32-15 lead after one quarter and enjoyed a 58-40 advantage at the half.

By the end of the third quarter, the Bulls were 90-71 ahead. Almost half of the Bulls' output in the first half came via points in the paint, where they held a 28-10 cushion.

For the game, the Bulls dictated with a 56-26 edge inside. Butler scored 17 points in the first half to lead all scorers.

The Bulls dominated in practically every area. They out-shot the Lakers 50 per cent to 37.6 per cent, out-rebounded them 51-40 and forced 15 turnovers while committing 11.

The Lakers (9-39) played without guard Lou Williams, who was out with an upper respiratory infection.