After a pair of mundane games opened the truncated Tuesday night schedule, the third game was more than charming for the Los Angeles Lakers, who beat the Phoenix Suns 139-137 in triple overtime to accomplish something they hadn't done in nearly half a century.
The Lakers last won a game of at least three overtimes on December 8, 1961, when they defeated the Philadelphia Warriors 151-147 in triple overtime. Tuesday marked the first time that Los Angeles ever won a triple-overtime game at home. The only time that the Lakers had even played such a home game was a 122-117 loss to the San Francisco Warriors in 1969.
The Suns have lost four straight triple-overtime games since 1997, and all four games have been on the road.
Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 42 points and finished an assist shy of a triple-double. He has 107 career 40-point games, more than twice as many as the next active player, Shaquille O'Neal with 49.
Most 40-point Games
With a 13-1 record, the Lakers remain the only team in the league with a single loss since the All-Star Break.
The Chicago Bulls have the NBA's second-best record since the All-Star Break, improving to 13-3 in that timespan by trouncing the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday. Chicago led by 47 points en route to a 114-81 victory.
Derrick Rose made a career-high six three-pointers and led Chicago with 30 points and 10 assists, his fourth 30-10 game of the season. The only player with more such games this season is Russell Westbrook, with six.
The Bulls snapped a six-game losing streak in Atlanta, and Rose won there for the first time in five career games. The only current arenas in which Rose has not won are Denver's Pepsi Center and Portland's Rose Garden (0-3 at each).