Five Takeaways: Jordan Leads Clippers in Road Win Over Bulls
CHICAGO — The Clippers won their third straight game behind a monster performance from DeAndre Jordan, beating the Bulls, 112-106.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers win.
1) Early indicator —
Jordan had a highly productive opening quarter, scoring 10 points, securing 8 boards, and also assisting two baskets. LA has won five straight games in which Jordan has scored at least 8 in the first quarter, dating back to early February. Jordan continued his proficiency into the second quarter, ending the first half with a double-double in 18 minutes, totaling 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists, the first time in his career that he’s reached those numbers in any half.
By the final buzzer, Jordan had played one of the best all-around games of his career, finishing with a team-high 29 points (11-12 FG), 18 rebounds, a season-high 5 assists and 2 blocks.He joined Brad Daugherty (2/21/92 vs. Sacramento) as the only players in over 30 seasons to tally at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting at least 90 percent from the field in a single game.
2) No longer off the bench —
For the third straight game, Lou Williams started rather than coming off the bench. The lock for Sixth Man of the Year has been superb off the bench, but has arguably had even greater production as a starter. Tonight, Williams scored 26 points, going 13-of-14 from the charity stripe, while also adding 5 assists. The guard was able to pick his spots, attacking hard closeouts from Bulls defenders, beating them off the dribble and drawing contact near the rim. As a starter, including tonight, Williams has averaged 25.8 points and 5.5 assists per game. In such games, the Clippers have gone 12-5.
3) Turnovers create early deficit —
It was an incident that happened multiple times in the first half. A Clippers big man would rebound the ball, pivot, then toss an outlet pass to a guard, that would then be intercepted by a Bulls defender lingering. The Clippers turned it over only seven times, but the turnovers forced by the Bulls led to quick, easy buckets, with Chicago scoring 11 points off errant passes. In comparison, the Bulls only turned the ball over three times, leading to two Clipper points. In the second quarter, the Clippers found themselves down eight, but in the second half, the Clippers controlled the ball, with Chicago only scoring six points off turnovers.
4) Tanking Bulls change rotation —
Robin Lopez played every minute in the first quarter, scoring 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. After that, Lopez never saw the court again, despite playing well. This follows a strong trend that the Bulls have decided to prioritize the development of their younger players over short term on-court success.
The Bulls played well early, forcing turnovers and feeding off the positive energy. However, the Clippers defense locked down Chicago’s offense in the third, limiting it to only 18 points, putting the Bulls in a hole they couldn’t recover from. Bobby Portis scored a team-high 19 points off the bench. Kris Dunn led the starters with 18 points and 6 assists.
5) Historic season —
No player in NBA history has been as productive and efficient in such a short amount of time as forward Montrezl Harrell. Harrell is on pace to become the only player in the shot clock era to average at least 10 points on over 60 percent shooting in under 19 minutes per game. Against the Bulls, Harrell played 11 minutes, scoring 10 points on 75 percent shooting.
What’s Next? — The Clippers travel to Houston for the first game of a back-to-back, facing the Rockets on Thursday at 5 p.m. PDT.