(WSCR) – It was the first game the Bulls were without Joakim Noah and they trailed most of the game against the Clippers. Chicago made a push to comeback in the fourth , falling short by one point. If that’s not enough bad news, Taj Gibson left the game during the third with a concussion.
By RICK GANO
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 29 points and Vinny Del Negro made a triumphant return to the United Center as the Los Angeles Clippers beat Chicago 100-99 on Saturday night, stopping the Bulls’ seven-game winning streak.
Chicago guard Derrick Rose, fouled with 0.8 seconds remaining as he drove to the basket, hit the first free throw but missed the second with a chance to tie, giving the Clippers their second road win in two nights. Before that, Los Angeles had lost 15 consecutive games away from home, including its first 11 this season.
Rose led the Bulls with 34 points and Carlos Boozer added 25 but Chicago’s fourth-quarter rally fell short. Griffin also had 12 rebounds for his 15th straight double-double.
Del Negro was fired as Bulls coach last May after going 82-82 in two seasons and having two first-round playoff exits. His tenure also included an altercation with Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson.
Now, Del Negro is running a team that got off to a horrendous start but has shown promise. After losing their first 11 away from home, the Clippers posted their first road victory Friday night in Detroit and then carried that momentum into Chicago.
It was also the Bulls’ first game since starting center Joakim Noah underwent surgery on his thumb earlier in the week, a ligament injury that will sideline him for eight to 10 weeks.
Noah’s replacement, Taj Gibson, left the game in the third quarter with a concussion.