Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Grades and Analysis
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially thrust themselves into the NBA playoff picture. For now.

Los Angeles now has a half-game lead over the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference after defeating the Chicago Bulls, 90-81.

The Lakers rode the backs of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to another much-needed victory. Chicago wouldn't go away, but Los Angeles was in control almost throughout, combating the Bulls' defensive tactics with a sensational defensive performance of its own.

Both Nate Robinson and Joakim Noah willed themselves to keep the Bulls within striking distance throughout the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough with Kobe and company still having their sights set on a playoff berth.

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