Cassell Sparks Visiting Clippers Past Bulls
L.A. Clippers 107, Chicago 96
CHICAGO, March 10 (Ticker) -- Sam Cassell set the tone the way a veteran should.
Cassell scored 32 points and gave the Los Angeles Clippers the boost they needed after halftime for a 107-96 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
"It was the first time in a while we had all our players," Cassell said. "That made it easy on me and I didn't have to play so many minutes. Coach (Mike Dunleavy) had a good rotation going for us.
"I just made the shots. My teammates were just doing the job by finding me. Tonight I just had my shot going and all I can say is thank you."
The 6-3 guard tallied the first eight points after the break to give his club a 55-45 advantage.
"We wanted to attack them tonight like they did to us at our place last game," said former Bull Elton Brand, who contributed 19 points and 13 rebounds. "In the third quarter, Sam really got us jump-started and that helped us out a lot."
Once Los Angeles let Chicago creep back within 85-81 with 8:18 to go on Andres Nocioni's jumper, Vladimir Radmanovic drained a 3-pointer to rebuild the lead to seven points.
"Radmanovic and all the guys coming off the bench played very well," Dunleavy said. "The job they did was the story tonight."
Cassell put away the contest by netting the next six points - part of an 8-0 surge - for a 93-83 lead with 5:31 remaining.
"When Sam is shooting the ball like he was tonight, he is tough to stop," Dunleavy said. "No matter what size you are or no matter who is guarding him, you can't defend him. They were watching our bigs and it gave him time to get his shots off."
Radmanovic and Corey Maggette scored 14 points apiece for the Clippers, who made 33-of-37 foul shots.
Kirk Hinrich scored 21 points to lead six players in double figures for Chicago. Luol Deng collected 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.
"We could not get stops consistently," Hinrich said. "I don't think our problems tonight were on offense, we just couldn't stop them."
"The stat sheet doesn't show it, but they outplayed us all game," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We had a hard time even in the early going trying to follow our simple game plan. In the third quarter, they took advantage of us and we couldn't stop them."