Not only was the seventh straight win for Vinnie Del Negro’s team, but in fact it’s the longest streak since the 1991-92 season, when they got an eight-game run. And what a great game it was. Huge dunks from Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and even Carlos Boozer and other players, great rhythm and a Grand Guignol finale with the clutch shot of Chris Paul with 27” remaining. The crowd in Chicago and all of the fans watching surely enjoyed it. Griffin put down some ferocious dunks that will surely be marked as the top plays in the week, probably the month, including a fast break double alley-hoop that resulted in him dunking with authority over Marco Belinelli, knocking him over.
Griffin finished with a team high 22 points on 10-19 shooting and also grabbed 10 boards. Chris Paul added 18 points including the shot that decided the game for the Clippers, a tough penetrating shot that extended the lead to 4 points, making it a two possession game for his team. For yet another game, the bench performed really well, providing solutions in scoring and keeping the team engine in full speed when the starters catch a breath on the bench. Matt Barnes finished with 14 points and Jamal Crawford added 10 to go along with 5 assists. In fact, that balance between the starters and the bench might be the secret weapon for team. That’s because the good performance from the reserves give the chance to the starters spend enough minutes resting on the bench, thus performing better when they get on.
The game started with both teams being energetic and aggressive on offense. But it was the Clippers who made a run to finish the second quarter, scoring 6 straight to open the gap to 7 points at the break. “The end of the second quarter changed the game. We started dancing with the ball.” ,said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.LA really got off and ran a lot on fast-breaks and finished with some beautiful highlight dunks and assists. All-star guard Chris Paul stated “I think that shows we are a defensive team.”
The Bulls, who average 4 three-pointers so far, had a season-high 10 made in the game, shooting 50% (10-20) from beyond the arc. Carlos Boozer led both teams in scoring with 24 and Marco Belinelli had18 with four made shots from downtown. Only 8 players played in for Chicago, including Kirk Heinrich who started at guard, after missing the second half of Saturday’s game with a hyperextended elbow.
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The Clippers continue their road trip with next stop being the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. Milwaukee and Detroit follow. The Bulls, whose 3 game winning streak ended last night, fly to Philadelphia to face the Sixers on Wednesday.