The postgame talk first centered on Dwight Howard establishing the Lakers' physical presence early en route to his 16 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks.

Conversation shifted to Metta World Peace bodying up the larger Carlos Boozer on defense since Boozer missed 12 of 16 shots. There even was the obligatory Kobe Bryant mention, the way the star eased into the game as a playmaker and almost finished with a triple-double, posting 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

All of these storylines certainly existed Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center, where the Bulls fell 90-81 in another listless performance.

But if you want to get to the heart of the Bulls' woes these days — once you get past the injuries, of course — you have to focus on the offensive end.

Playing again without Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton and Taj Gibson, the Bulls shot just 37.1 percent and tallied a mere 17 assists on their 33 field goals.

"We have to get better ball movement to get better rhythm," Luol Deng said. "We're taking a lot of random shots right now."

Indeed, the ball and player movement that so defined earlier impressive offensive showings has disappeared, lost amid the injury-forced changing roles and a whole lot of Nate Robinson.