For the Chicago Bulls, Sunday afternoon marked the start of yet another extended period of time with Derrick Rose out on the sidelines. In the matinee matchup, the Bulls took on the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, where they were annihilated in a 121-82 loss.
Kirk Hinrich returned to the starting point guard position while Marquis Teague acted as his backup. Aside from Rose, Jimmy Butler is still recovering from a turf toe injury.
In the first half, both the Bulls and the Clippers were able to thrive on the offensive end. The two teams were simply trading baskets for the majority of the first two quarters. Carlos Boozer got his offense going early on in the first quarter, and then Luol Deng got himself going as well.
However, it just so turned out that Los Angeles was able to thrive much, much more. Jared Dudley and JJ Redick took advantage of their shooting opportunities to combine for 29 points in the first half.
Because Chicago was able to keep the offense going and moving well, they were able to stay in the game just a couple of points behind the Clippers on most possessions. Eventually, they were unable to produce as much offense as Los Angeles was, and as a result, the Bulls fell behind by double digits.
The defense that has defined this Bulls team for the past few seasons was nonexistent in the first half. They weren’t being assertive. They weren’t showing quite the same mentality they usually had. Most importantly, they weren’t getting any stops. Combine that with the the Clippers’ 62.5% shooting, and a 65-52 halftime lead for Los Angeles comes out.
From that point on, it didn’t get any better for Chicago. In fact, it became much, much worse. Los Angeles kept doing their thing on the offensive end because the Bulls didn’t step up their defense. Chicago got their points, but it was pointless because the Clippers just kept extending their lead even more. No one was stopping them, so they just kept going. That’s really all there was to it.
Luol Deng managed to be the leading scorer in the game with 22 points to go along with two rebounds, six assists and one steal. Duke products Mike Dunleavy and Boozer each added 14 points of their own.
Chicago will complete the second end of their back-to-back series on Monday, Nov. 25. They will face the Utah Jazz at 8:00 p.m. central.