Game #15 | November 24, 2013
STAPLES Center | Los Angeles, CA

  • 82

  • 121

- TOP PERFORMERS -


POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS BLOCKS STEALS
21 12 17 3 2
COMPLETE GAME INFORMATION | GAME NOTES
 

Clippers

24

28

21

9

82

LOGO

31

34

31

25

121


RECAP

LOS ANGELES – Point guard Chris Paul was somewhat foretelling in his postgame media session Saturday. The Clippers pulled out a one-point win over the Kings and Paul lamented the starters had been forced to play deep into the fourth quarter of all of their previous 14 games.

That all changed fewer than 24 hours later.

The Clippers, wearing their “Back in Blue”  short-sleeve jerseys for the first time in the regular season, rolled past the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls, 121-82, Sunday at Staples Center.

It was the widest margin of victory in franchise history and was an emphatic cap to their four games in five nights. The Clippers shot 58.5 percent from the field, held the Bulls under 40 percent, and topped 25 points in every quarter. So, much for weary legs in the most daunting stretch of the season, in terms of frequency of games.

“I don’t know what it was, but you could tell that because it was an afternoon game that they had no idea this was the fourth game in five,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought we had unbelievable energy.”

Paul, who played just 27 minutes and spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench alongside the other five starters, scored 16 points with 17 assists and two steals. Blake Griffin had 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for eighth double-double in a row. Jared Dudley added a season-high 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting. J.J. Redick had 19 and Antawn Jamison, making his first appearance of the season, scored 11.

The Clippers (10-5) opened the game with baskets on seven of their first nine possessions, Dudley connected on three of them, all from the right side of the floor, and was halfway to his previous season-best of 15 points less than five minutes into the game. Dudley and Redick combined for 29 points in the first half and the Clippers led, 65-52.

“I felt like all week I’ve gotten great looks,”  Redick said. “Tonight was probably my best shooting night of the week, but some nights they go in and some nights they don’t. I’m a realest. I never really get too up or down about that sort of thing.”

The Bulls (6-6) had reason to be down. They were without Rose for the first time since the former MVP went down with a torn medial meniscus in his right knee Friday and are in the heart of a six-game road trip. They kept pace with the Clippers for a brief spell, but disintegrated as the second half wore on.

“I anticipated them to play great tonight,” Rivers said of the Bulls. “But we jumped on them so quickly that that had to have a mental effect. You don’t lose a Rose. Had they come out early and played well, I thought the game might have been tight and tough all night.” 

Instead, the Clippers were as hot from the field as at any point this season. All 12 players who dressed made at least one field goal, six players scored in double figures and they assisted on 32 of their 48 made baskets. Afterwards, though, Rivers, much like Redick alluded to, dismissed the shot-making as part of the ups and downs of the NBA season. He was much more inclined to talk about his team’s defense.

“It was the imperfect storm in some ways because of no Rose,” Rivers said. “But I just thought our defensive energy tonight was fantastic.

“I was just really happy. This was the most active our hands have been defensively. It was yesterday’s first quarter for four quarters.”

Against the Kings on Saturday, Rivers said the defense in the first quarter was what he envisioned. But they failed to maintain and as it went away so did a 20-point lead. None such problems occurred Sunday and after the bench helped extend the lead in the third quarter to a seemingly insurmountable margin, Griffin and Paul and company were resting comfortably on the bench. 

“Me and Blake were talking about that,” Paul said. “It’s the first game this season we got the opportunity to sit all quarter. That’s huge for our team. This was our fourth game in five nights. We could’ve come in with a lot excuses, but we did what we were supposed to do.”

Griffin shared Paul’s sentiment: “We were sitting there on the baseline and I said, ‘This is the first time I’ve sat in the fourth quarter. I miss this feeling.’ Hopefully, we can keep that up.”

NOTES

The previous franchise record for margin of victory was 37 points. The Buffalo Braves did so twice, including most recently in a 130-93 win over Washington on Jan. 14, 1978… The Clippers led by as many as 42 points in the fourth quarter Sunday… Dudley last topped 20 points in a game on Mar. 9, 2013 when he was a member of the Phoenix Suns… Paul’s 17 assists matched his season, set on Nov. 4 against Houston… The Clippers are 5-0 when scoring at least 20 points in transition. They had 20 against the Bulls… Chicago was led by a game-high 22 points from Luol Deng… Jamison’s 11 points moved him 31 shy of 20,000 points for his career…

QUOTES

Doc Rivers

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers on his team’s ability to get into their offense quickly:

“I thought our bigs tonight were in for the fight. They were in there and they rebounded. Even on makes, we’ve really been harping on them, get the ball and get it out as quick as possible and get it up the floor. We scored a ton of points after they made shots, in six seconds. I just think when you can do that it really hurts the other team because they can’t take a breath and you’re already on top of them.”

 

Clippers forward Blake Griffin on what he learned about team in last four games:

“When we dig in and really want to, we’re tough defensively and offensively. When we run the offense like we were taught, and play defense when we’ve been taught, we’re much, much tougher. But we can’t become relaxed and reliant on just trying to outscore teams. So it’s more of a mindset thing for us, going into each game and knowing that we’ve got to grind.”

 

Clippers forward Jared Dudley on the game:

“I think for the team, the pace, it was something we have been doing off and on throughout the season, but it was really constant. I think tonight it was the first time that every time we got a rebound we were looking to give the ball up. We’ve been shooting the ball pretty well. For me personally, the same shots I had tonight I had through all season, a little more confident and getting a little better groove.”

 

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich on the Clippers:

“First half, I thought we were good offensively, but defensively, we never really made them feel us. They pretty much just had their way the whole game. They’re a good team. They’re a tough challenge. They shoot the three really well. Their guys will put pressure on you at the rim, and obviously with Chris [Paul] running the show, that’s about as good as it gets.”

 

Clippers guard Darren Collison on how he is adapting to his role:

“I’m just getting more comfortable with the offense. Doc has given me the leeway to call sets out and continue to just play my game. I knew it was going to take a little bit of time, but I feel a lot more comfortable and that’s a good sign.”

 

VIDEO

CROWN ROYAL SHOT OF THE GAME

PREVIEW

By: Eric Patten | Follow @EricPatten




LOS ANGELES – There will be familiar faces on the sidelines, a noticeably absent superstar and possibly two weary-legged teams in Sunday’s matchup between the Clippers and Bulls.

It’s the second of a rare afternoon back-to-back for the Clippers (9-5), who squeaked by the first leg of it Saturday against Kings.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done this in my life,” Doc Rivers said of the two consecutive afternoon home games. “Maybe I have, I’m not sure. But now that we’ve won the first one, it’s not bad. But to get the next one would be really nice.”

To get both of them, the Clippers will have go through a Chicago team in the midst of a six-game road trip that includes four teams in the West. They’ve already lost in Denver and Portland and come to Los Angeles on the heels of learning that 2011 MVP Derrick Rose is lost indefinitely due to a torn medial meniscus in his right knee.

“I just found out a about it and it’s sad to know how hard he worked to get back,” Chris Paul said, alluding to Rose’s return this season from a torn ACL in his left knee. “To know D-Rose personally, he loves to play and it’s something that he’ll come back from but it’s unfortunate.”

Rivers, who is coaching against his former Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau for the 13th time, said prior to Saturday’s game that he hates to see injuries for many reasons, stressing that it’s not only good for the league to have its best players healthy but also ratchets up his team’s competitiveness.

Still, it could serve as a needed break for the Clippers. They have played four games in what amounts to about four and a half days, when you take into account Sunday’s early start time.

“I forgot it was a four in five until after the game, Jamal Crawford mentioned it,” Paul said. “I was trying to figure out why I felt the way I did. It’s one of those things, I say it a lot of times; it’s mental. You’ve got to push through it. That’s how teams get the first or second seed in the Western Conference because on those days they suck it up.”

Crawford described the difference in routine between a 12:30 p.m. PT game versus starting at 7:30.

“You’ve got to go to sleep a little earlier,” Crawford said. “Most of us take naps during the day and you don’t have the luxury of doing that. You’ve got to get up and be out here early.”

NOTEWORTHY MATCHUP

 

Blake Griffin vs. Carlos Boozer

Photo

 Photo

The marquee matchup figured to be Paul, whose 13-game streak of double-doubles fell one assist shy on Saturday, and Rose. But with Rose out, the Bulls will likely turn to Boozer as the go-to offensive player. Boozer is averaging 16.2 points on 51.7 percent shooting, but his rebounding numbers are down to 8.9 per game. His minutes are as well as he has given way to Taj Gibson more often.

Griffin has had plenty of success offensively against the Bulls big men in the past. In five games against Boozer, Griffin’s scored 28.6 points with 11.6 assists. He’s never had fewer than 22 points and has topped 30 twice. Expect to see Boozer use his lower body strength to try and muscle up Griffin defensively and the Bulls will likely use plenty of Joakim Noah, who not only provides length but tremendous defensive activity, against Griffin.

 

THINGS TO WATCH

1. The absence of Derrick Rose. Obviously, accounting for Rose’s absence is impossible. He is one of the league’s top players when healthy. Rose will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by Kirk Hinrich, who can slide over to the two-guard position and play with Marquis Teague at times as well. Compounding Rose’s injury is the loss of defensive ace Jimmy Butler, who is expected to miss two to three weeks with turf toe. Mike Dunleavy has been starting in Butler’s stead.

“With Chicago, at least they’ve gone through it,” Rivers said, referring to the Bulls playing last season without Rose. “They have some tough veterans. [Kirk] Hinrich is a sensational player and he can play point and two, so they do have players.”

Griffin and Crawford also talked about Rose’s injury.

“I feel bad for him,” Griffin said. “You never want to see somebody go down. I‘ve obviously experienced a couple knee injuries (a fractured kneecap and torn meniscus). The good thing is [his current injury is] not nearly as bad as what he just went through, but I wish him the best.”‖

Crawford added: “You never want to see someone get hurt, but I would rather have him deal with that than what everybody thought it could be. My prayers are out to him. It’s amazing how much support he has, but I think that shows how genuine he is and how good of a person he is and how talented of a player he is.”

Still, the Bulls are not the type of team to lie down in the face of adversity. 

“They always play tough,” Crawford said. “They always play hard. They grind it out. Most east coast teams are kind of like that, but Thibodeau has those guys playing as one.”

2. #BackInBlue. The Clippers have worn their baby blue short-sleeve jerseys on Media Day and in their Las Vegas preseason game, but Sunday is the on-court debut of the new nautical-themed uniforms in the regular season. They are slated to wear them in all Sunday home games this year, but none of them will be as memorable as the first. The entire day will themed around the new-look uniforms that include nautical flags on the shorts and the classic Los Angeles script across the chest. All in-arena presentations will use the “Back in Blue” theme and there will even be an alternate introduction video with players wearing the baby blue jerseys. Online Clippers.com will feature a baby blue theme and the team’s social media posts will be capped with the hashtag #BackInBlue.

3. Finishing things off. Going into the only four-in-five stretch this season figured to be daunting, but after a solid road win and one-point victory against the Kings sandwiching a loss in Oklahoma City, the Clippers are looking to finish it off with a third victory. But they’re also trying to finish off games that they get a hefty lead. On Saturday, the Clippers led by double-digits for the third time after the first quarter. They held on to win in all three, but had to rely on their starters to stay in the game through the duration.

That being said, Griffin thinks that learning how to hold a lead as well as being forced to make key defensive plays in the final minutes are both good for the Clippers in the long run.

“It‘s a good experience,” Griffin said. “We‘re going to have games like that, but we shouldn‘t have put ourselves in that situation. Being in that situation and showing the resolve that we did; making stops when we needed and getting buckets when we needed, was good.”‖

NOTES

The Clippers have won five of their last seven games against the Bulls, including a season sweep in 2012-13… The Bulls two losses in a row come on the heels of a five-game winning streak… The Clippers are 6-1 at home this season… Their record of 9-5 is one game better than at this point last season. However, their 15th game was the start of their franchise-record 17-game winning streak… Matt Barnes is out with a torn retina in his left eye… Maalik Wayns is back in Los Angeles as he recovers from a torn meniscus in his left knee. He remains out… Thibodeau and Rivers own two of the four best winning percentages among head coaches since 2007-08…

THEY SAID IT

Chris Paul: “I like afternoon games. It gives me the rest of the day to chill with my family, so they’re cool.”

Doc Rivers: “I always thought the visiting team had the advantage in the afternoon game because it takes the home team out of their norm. The visiting team is already out of their norm.”



   

LAST TIME OUT


RECAP | BOX SCORE

Clippers Leaders:
Pts: Griffin/Paul 20
Ast: Paul 11
Reb: Jordan 12

Last Time Out


102


103


CHICAGO BULLS

Bulls Leaders:
Pts: Rose 20
Ast: Three Players Tied 3
Reb: Deng 14

BOX SCORE »


95


98