Notebook: Clippers 101, Bulls 80



Posted Nov 18, 2012 2:52 AM

By Dan Arritt, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Another victory by the Clippers, another exceptional night for their bench. Behind Blake Griffin's game-high 26, Jamal Crawford led the way with 22 points from the reserves, which also included Matt Barnes(13) and Eric Bledsoe (10) scoring in double figures, making the difference in a 101-80 victory against the visiting Bulls at Staples Center.

QUOTABLE: "We feel like we're one of the top teams."

--Clippers' Jamal Crawford

THE STAT: The Clippers came into the game leading the league in steals at 10.3 a game and swiped 10 more against the Bulls. In the seven victories by L.A. this season, they've had at least nine steals in every game.

TURNING POINT: Leading by three points at the start of the second quarter, the bench scored the first six points for the Clippers and 15 of the first 19 to give L.A. a 33-19 lead and Chicago never got back within single digits.

HOT: Crawford came into the game 10th in the league in scoring at 20.5 points on 13.1 shots per game, and led the Clippers in scoring in five of the previous eight games. Not bad for a reserve. He maintained that efficiency against the Bulls, scoring his 22 points on 10 shots.

NOT: Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich signed a two-year contract to return to Chicago over the summer, but so far he's not looking like the same player the organization had for seven seasons from 2003-10. Hinrich, whose deal was worth approximately $6 million, was averaging just 5.3 points through his first seven games, well off his 12.5 career average. He missed all five field-goal attempts against the Clippers and scored one point. He also committed five turnovers, three in the game's first seven minutes.

GOOD MOVE: Clippers forward Griffin was the only starter in double figures with his 26 points, while also pulling down 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season. The Bulls had cut a 20-point deficit with eight minutes remaining to 13 with 6:13 left. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro reinserted Griffin and Chris Paul, and Griffin scored 14 consecutive points to put the game on ice. As usual, Paul did most of the orchestrating and finished with eight points and 10 assists.

QUOTABLE II: "My job as the point guard is to make the defense thing I'm trying to score."

--Chris Paul

BAD MOVE: Bulls center Joakim Noah was making defenses take notice of his scoring ability this season. After never averaging more than 11.7 points in his first five seasons in the league, he bumped up his scoring average to 16 points through the first eight games. He never accomplished much against the Clippers in his career, however, averaging 8.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in seven games, and that was the trend that continued. He missed all six field-goal attempts and finished with four points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes.

NOTABLE: The Clippers are 6-0 against teams that qualified for the playoffs last season, including wins against the Heat, Grizzlies and Spurs. The Clippers four opponents on their upcoming road trip have a combined record of 24-11. ... Bulls reserve forward Vladimir Radmanovic, who has played for the Clippers and Lakers in his 12-year career, appeared in his fourth game this season, finishing with two points and two rebounds in a season-high 10 minutes.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers: Monday @ San Antonio, Wednesday @ Oklahoma City, Friday @ Brooklyn. For the Bulls: Sunday @ Portland, Wednesday @ Houston, Saturday @ Milwaukee.