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01/22/2013 12:58 AM EST
Hinrich, Belinelli lead Bulls past Lakers, 95-83
CHICAGO 95, LA LAKERS 83

By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Kirk Hinrich scored a season-high 22 points,
Marco Belinelli added 15 points, and the Chicago Bulls pulled
away down the stretch to beat the struggling Los Angeles Lakers
95-83 on Monday night.



Belinelli came up big in the closing minutes, scoring eight
points during an 18-4 run that broke a 75-75 tie and sent the
Lakers to their ninth loss in 11 games.



He started it by hitting two free throws after getting fouled by
Dwight Howard with 6:54 left in the game and wrapped two
3-pointers around a layup by Los Angeles' Earl Clark, making it
89-79 with 2:27 remaining.



The Lakers have now dropped six straight on the road, and this
one came after coach Mike D'Antoni shook up the lineup. He moved
forward Pau Gasol to a reserve role and replaced him with Clark,
but the slide continued on a night when Kobe Bryant and Howard
were mostly nonfactors.



Hinrich hit 9 of 11 shots and nailed three 3-pointers. Belinelli
and Nate Robinson (11 points) also hit three, and the Bulls were
9 of 17 overall from long range.



Joakim Noah added 13 rebounds and a season-best six blocks after
sitting out the final 22 minutes, 53 seconds of Saturday's loss
to Memphis.



Carlos Boozer chipped in with 14 points and six rebounds.
Richard Hamilton scored 13, although he shot just 6 of 18. Jimmy
Butler, making his second straight start with Luol Deng (sore
right hamstring) sidelined, scored 10. And Chicago won this one
in regulation after playing three straight overtime games.



Steve Nash led the Lakers with 18 points, but Bryant finished
with just 16 on 7-of-22 shooting. That ended a run of 24 games
with 20 or more points.



Howard, meanwhile, had just eight points and nine rebounds while
picking up five fouls. Clark and Metta World Peace scored 12
apiece, and Gasol added 15 points and 12 rebounds in his new
reserve role.



D'Antoni made the switch because he wanted a quicker lineup.
Even so, it was an eye-opening move, considering Gasol scored 25
at Toronto on Sunday.



"It isn't against him, it's better for us right now," D'Antoni
said before the game. "We're going to try to work through it and
see what we can do. Things do change, things happen, I can't see
the future but we're ready to go forward."



NOTES: Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said star PG Derrick Rose is
"very close" to starting full contact drills in practice, the
next step in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament
in his left knee. Could it happen this week? "Yeah - it could,"
Thibodeau said. Is it scheduled to happen this week? Thibodeau
said, "It could." He also said Rose will have to go through
full-contact drills "for an extended amount of time" and that he
won't be playing after "one or two days of contact."

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