Nikola Mirotic recorded a career-high Sunday vs. the Clippers
Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls

Short-handed Bulls fall to Clippers

Bulls fall to 37-23 on the season

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By Sam Smith | 3.01.2015 | 2:29 p.m. CT

The Bulls Sunday lost another game and another regular when Jimmy Butler left early in the third quarter with an elbow sprain and the Bulls went cold in the fourth quarter and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 96-86.

The Bulls fell to 37-23 and 18-13 at home while the Clippers are 39-21.

The Bulls were led by Nikola Mirotic with a career high 29 points and every Bulls point but one in a stagnant fourth quarter in which the Clippers pulled away. Mirotic had 16 in the fourth quarter. Joakim Noah had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Chris Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and 12 assists while DeAndre Jordan had nine points and 26 rebounds.

Observations:

1. With Taj Gibson out with a sprained ankle—Thibodeau said day to day but probably more like week to week—Nikola Mirotic should play much more and probably like Omer Asik and Jimmy Butler before with forced time from injury may start getting the time he needs to produce.

2. Aaron Brooks had slumped going to starting point guard once Derrick Rose went out with knee surgery. Brooks isn’t a classic point guard to run a team, but he’s the sort of scorer who can put up points quickly and did so to keep the Bulls in the game after Jimmy Butler was injured.

3. Joakim Noah working often from the high post again was threatening a triple double. Noah may be the league’s best big man to read back door cuts without set plays. The offense bogged down in the fourth when he went out with 5:25 left.