CHICAGO — With LeBron James catching his breath after playing nearly the entire third quarter and Anthony Davis sitting on the bench right beside him, saddled with four fouls, the Los Angeles Lakers relied on an unlikely lineup to key a fourth-quarter comeback against the Chicago Bulls.
When Kyle Kuzma, Quinn Cook, Alex Caruso, Dwight Howard and Troy Daniels stepped onto the court to begin the fourth Tuesday, L.A. trailed by 13. Three minutes and 48 seconds of game time later, the Lakers led by 3. L.A. used the 16-0 surge to guide them to a 118-112 win, their sixth victory in a row.
“That’s the Kuz we know,” James said of the Lakers’ third-year forward who pumped in 11 of his 15 points in the final frame.
Kuzma was playing in just his third game this season after being sidelined for nearly three months with a stress reaction in his left ankle suffered during USA Basketball training camp.
He sprung to life Tuesday night by making a 3 on the Lakers’ first possession of the fourth.
Up to that point, he was 1-for-13 from 3 on the season. He finished the fourth quarter by making five of his eight shots in the period.
“Just confidence,” Kuzma said. “Anytime, at least for me, shots go in, I get more and more confidence, and I feel like that’s kind of the gist of what happened tonight.”
In Kuzma’s first two games back, he totaled just 14 points on 5-for-15 shooting. The first half was going in the