Game 46: Chicago Bulls (26-20) lose to Los Angeles Clippers (32-16), 120-93
January 31, 2016
Staples Center – Los Angeles
The Bulls opened up Sunday’s matinee with a 6-0 run, but it wasn’t long until the Clippers caught up. From there, the two teams stayed close, but neither team would pull ahead until the second half; however, Jamal Crawford‘s 10-point second quarter assisted the Clippers in heading into halftime with a 51-47 lead.
Despite the deficit, the Bulls stayed in the game, at first.
The Bulls’ starters combined for 15 points in the first six minutes of the third quarter. Soon enough, the Bulls put some of their bench in, but couldn’t get quite the same production. They went scoreless for over three minutes but managed to score seven points in the last 2:11, but the Clippers, led by J.J. Redick‘s 11 points in the third, already had enough momentum to end the quarter with a double-digit lead.
It was too much for the Bulls to overcome after that. They put up 20 points in the fourth period, but failed to score again after E’Twaun Moore‘s bucket at the 4:35 mark. Meanwhile, the Clippers kept on rolling. Crawford scored eight points to open the quarter to contribute to the Clippers’ game-high 36 points in the fourth quarter.
Player of the Game
The former Bull led all scorers with 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting off the bench. What’s even more impressive is that he scored those 26 points in 26 minutes.
Had it not been for the Bulls’ offensive success in the paint Sunday afternoon, the outcome of the game would have been much uglier. They outscored the Clippers in the paint 56-36, so they, at least, had that going for them.
While the Clippers didn’t dominate the paint, they easily made up for it with their 3-point shooting. They shot 17-for-32 on pointers for a whopping 53.6 percent.
The Clippers were aggressive on the defensive end, grabbing six more steals than the Bulls’ did. Chris Paul and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute each had two steals, just as many steals as the entire Bulls team had.
Jimmy Butler may have been the game’s second-leading scorer with 23 points, but he shot an inefficient 8-for-22 from the field, sometimes forcing his shots. He also had just one rebound and one steal with no assists.
The Bulls will finish out their back-to-back series Monday night when they face the Utah Jazz at 8 p.m. central.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.