The Bulls have one game against an over-.500 team this road trip, and were not able to capitalize on Blake Griffin's injury as the Clippers blew them out in the second half in a Sunday afternoon game. The final score was 120-93, with the Bulls being outscored 69-46 in those final 24 minutes.
The final surge was catalyzed by Jamal Crawford, who scored 10 straight points from the end of the 2nd quarter to the 3rd, and then with an assist on a Wesley Johnson three sent the lead to 18. The Bulls had some mini runs in the remaining 9 or so minutes, but between poor shot selection and featuring a lineup with Doug McDermott at PF they were never close again.
Crawford, Johnson, and Austin Rivers combined for 53 points and shot 10-14 from three, obviously a huge amount of production off of the Clippers bench today. Going small (having Deandre Jordan as the center is a nice weapon, no doubt) paid off big for L.A., looking at that bench trio plus a great game for JJ Redick (21 points on 11 shots, and I didn't think he was defended that poorly either). Compare that to 16 team-sabotaging minutes from Paul Pierce, as they tried to start him at PF in Griffin's absence.
DeAndre Jordan only missed 1 of his 7 FG attempts and went a surprising 5/8 from the line to finish with 17. Also, as the only Clipper who could do damage on the glass, got 20 total rebounds, 5 on offense (4 were in the first seven mintues). It felt worse than it actually was, as the Bulls did fine controlling the boards in a team sense. But more than a couple of those tips by Jordan led to three-pointers, of which the Bulls faced a huge deficit all day ultimately getting outscored by 36 points from the three-point line alone.
The Clippers bench is typically one of the weaker units in all of the NBA, so in seeing the Bulls throw out a second quarter lineup of Brooks/Hinrich/Snell/McDermott/Portis wasn't totally deflating (in fact, this Portis-McDermott handoff happened which was cool). But Portis was pulled pretty early for valid defensive reasons (maybe pull Doug instead?) and in the first half at one point the Clippers bench had scored 24 straight points (Chris Paul facilitated the last handful, but still) led by Jamal Crawford's 12 to get an 8 point lead. The Bulls starters returned and went on a little run to close the gap to 4 at half, hacking DeAndre Jordan to mixed results: he went 2-4 from the line, and the Bulls kind of screwed up their own 2-for-1 possession to give the Clippers the extra chance.
The hack-a-DeAndre backfired in the 3rd quarter too, as some Pau cooking had the Bulls within 4 again when Hoiberg started it, but Jordan hit enough FTs and the Bulls kept getting stripped on offense.
The 3rd quarter saw the Bulls with 5 turnovers, and for a lot of the game some really poor shot selection. Jimmy Butler was clearly forcing things, and though he led the Bulls with 23 points it was not a good game. Took 22 shots, had only a single rebound in nearly 37 minutes, and had 0 assists.
Derrick Rose was a bit better, though fairly exclusively in transition (fooling Chris Paul, neat) and some straight-line drives. Would've looked a lot better production-wise if he got any foul calls, but you can't say he shot well from outside nor really ran much offense, having 4 assists but also 3 turnovers. There was some Rose/Butler interaction this game but not nearly enough, and while Jimmy was able to get points when running plays to force the Clippers to switch, that also rarely happened as much as tough mid-range shots off the dribble.