1 of 2
Paul Beaty, AP
Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose (1) battles Los Angeles Lakers' Ronnie Price, left, for a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014. Chicago won 113-93. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

CHICAGO — Pau Gasol had 23 points and 13 rebounds against his former team and the Chicago Bulls beat Los Angeles 113-93 on Thursday night with Lakers star Kobe Bryant resting his sore body.

Jimmy Butler added 21 points, and Derrick Rose had 20 points and six assists to help the Bulls win their season-high fifth straight.

With Bryant missing his second straight game, the Lakers were unable to pull off another upset. They stunned Golden State on Tuesday night but came up short against the Central division leaders.

The Bulls hung on after a 16-point second-quarter lead dwindled to two in the third. They pulled away in the fourth, sending the Lakers to their fourth loss in five games.

Gasol, a two-time champion in six-plus seasons with the Lakers, was 9 of 14 from the field in his first game against Los Angeles since joining the Bulls in the summer.

Butler added six rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic and Aaron Brooks each scored 13 points.

It didn't hurt that Bryant was watching from the sideline in a dark red jacket even if the Lakers were coming off a big victory without him.

Carlos Boozer scored 14 points and got booed in his return to Chicago, as he often did during his four seasons with the Bulls. The Bulls used the amnesty clause to cut him last summer and create the salary-cap space to bring in Gasol and add depth to the roster.

Wesley Johnson led Los Angeles with 19 points. Ed Davis added 13 points and 14 rebounds. Jordan Hill finished with 16 points, but the Lakers shot about 39 percent overall and went 5 of 16 from 3-point range.

They will likely have to go without Bryant again when they visit Dallas on Friday night.

Bryant said his knees Achilles tendons, feet and back were all bothering him, and it is unlikely he will play against the Mavericks.

The 36-year-old Bryant, in his 19th NBA season, entered Thursday third in the league in scoring at 24.6 points per game. He passed Michael Jordan for third place on the career scoring list Dec. 14 at Minnesota.

The Bulls looked as if they were on their way to an easy victory up 16 in the second quarter, but an 11-point halftime lead quickly shrunk to two.

Los Angeles started the third quarter on an 11-2 run and cut it to 60-58 on Johnson's fast-break layup. The Bulls were leading 81-77 in the closing seconds when Gasol drove for a layup to start a 10-2 run that bumped it back up to 12 early in the fourth.

Brooks added a fadeaway baseline jumper and another basket during that spurt, and Mirotic finished it with a layup to make it 91-79 with about 10 minutes left.


Lakers: Bryant said Jordan had a simple message after he passed him on the NBA's scoring list. "Go get Karl," Bryant said referring to Karl Malone. The former Utah great is second with 36,928 points. Bryant has 32,365.

Bryant on passing Jordan on the NBA's scoring list: "It was more of a thankful feeling to Michael and the players came before because I've learned so much from them. And I don't say that lightly. I've literally just stole (stuff) from them — like spin moves and pull-ups. It's not me passing these players. It's us. I've literally taken things from their games and made them my own."

Bulls: G Kirk Hinrich missed his second straight game because of tendinitis in his left knee and remains day to day.


Lakers: Visit Dallas on Friday night.

Bulls: Play New Orleans at home on Saturday night.