Tuesday night at United Center in Chicago, the L.A. Clippers accomplished something the franchise hasn’t seen since 1991.
Their 94-89 triumph over the Bulls was L.A.’s seventh consecutive victory, their longest win streak since an eight-gamer during the ’91-’92 campaign.
The Clippers were able to control the pace of the game and play their ideal brand of basketball by forcing turnovers and getting out onto the break for easy baskets.
Blake Griffin led the Clips with 22 points and 10 rebounds, with several of his baskets coming on highlight-reel dunks. Lob City, indeed.
L.A.’s superior depth was also a factor in this one, as the Clipper bench was able to outscore the Bulls’ shorthanded bench 34-21. Matt Barnes scored 14 to lead the Clipper reserves.
Carlos Boozer led Chicago with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Marco Belinelli chipped in with 18 points and seven boards, including four three-pointers.
L.A.’s perimeter defenders did a great job shutting down Luol Deng, who was held to just eight points on 3-14 shooting from the field. He is Chicago’s leading scorer this season, averaging nearly 18 per game.
Belinelli drilled a three to bring the Bulls to within two points with 48 seconds to go, before Chris Paul widened the margin once again on the ensuing possession, nailing a short six-foot, pull-up jumper in the lane with just under 30 seconds to play.
Paul then made three-of-four free throw attempts in the final 20 seconds to ice the win for Los Angeles. He finished with 18 points and four assists.
It was a valiant effort from a Bulls team still without former MVP Derrick Rose, who is continuing to rehab from a torn ACL suffered during last year’s playoffs. They had won three straight coming in, but the loss dropped them to 11-9 on the year.
A turning point in the game came late in the second quarter, when a furious 15-5 Clipper run (AKA Dunk Show) gave L.A. a seven-point cushion going into halftime.
The Clippers are now 15-6 on the season, good for the fourth-best record in the Western Conference.
Their road trip continues tonight in Charlotte, where they’ll take on the lowly 7-13 Bobcats. The Clippers blew-out the Bobcats 111-86 in their only meeting last season.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.