Bulls Win Streak Continues
The Chicago Bulls controlled the court all four quarters against the :A Clippers Wednesday night. Derrick Rose helped lead the Bulls to their sixth straight victory.
Derrick Rose scored 32 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Clippers 106-88 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory, snapping Los Angeles’ nine-game home winning streak.
The Bulls never trailed as they began a five-game road trip with their 23rd victory in 29 games – a stretch that began one game after Carlos Boozer returned to the lineup from a broken right hand. Luol Deng scored 26 points and Boozer added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bulls’ 34-14 start is their best since 1997-98, when they had the same record after 48 games en route to their sixth NBA title in an eight-year span. They are tied with Miami for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, three games behind Boston. Ten of their wins have been decided by five points or fewer.
Rose, the only player among the league’s top 10 in scoring and assists, shot 11 for 18 and had 11 assists. He played through two stomach ulcers over the past week to lead the Central Division leaders to victories over Orlando and Indiana.
Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, the rookie’s 40th double-double of the season and 34th in 35 games – but he missed nine of 13 free throws.
The Clippers, who have been playing without leading scorer Eric Gordon for the past 1 1/2 weeks because of a sprained right wrist, shot 46.8 percent against a defense that had held opponents to a league-low 42.3 percent coming into the game.
Rose made three shots from 3-point range in the first 5 minutes with Randy Foye guarding him. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro then put rookie reserve Eric Bledsoe on the three-year veteran, but Rose finished the quarter with 13 points to match Griffin’s total.
Rose didn’t make another field goal until his reverse layup with 10:12 left in the third helped increase Chicago’s six-point halftime lead to 61-49. The Bulls built a 89-71 lead on a layup by Deng that capped a 10-0 run with 9:41 remaining, and the Clippers got no closer than 13 points after that.
Chicago center Kurt Thomas had no points and one rebound during a foul-plagued 20 minutes, which included a technical he received from referee Joey Crawford after getting called for his fourth of the game with 6:41 left in the third quarter and Chicago leading 69-54.
The Clippers play their next nine games away from Staples Center. The first four opponents on the trip – Atlanta, Miami, Orlando and New York – are a combined 64-27 at home. They’ll also play Milwaukee (23-4) and New Orleans (20-5).
The next time Griffin takes the court at Staples Center, it will be during All-Star weekend (Feb. 18-20), when he and Bledsoe will compete for a team of rookies against a squad comprised of second-year players. Griffin also will match talents with Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings, Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and Washington’s JaValle McGee in the Slam-Dunk contest. The last Clipper to compete in that event was Corey Maggette in 2001, and the last one to win it was Brent Barry in 1996.
NOTES: Griffin, named the top rookie in the Western Conference for the third straight month on Monday, is trying to join Chris Paul (2005-06) as the only player to sweep the award in his conference. … If Griffin is added to the All-Star roster, expect the NBA to excuse him from the Rookie Challenge. That’s what they did last year with Rose, who was scratched from the Skills Challenge because of a bruised right hip but did play in the main event. … Rose scored 34 points against the Clippers on Dec. 18 at Chicago, but missed a tying free throw with 0.8 seconds on the clock as the Bulls lost 100-99. … The Bulls have held opponents under 100 points in 13 straight games and 19 of 20. They are 31-6 this season when giving up fewer than 100, and 0-8 with allowing 100 or more in a regulation game. … Boozer is averaging 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in his last five games after missing the previous three because of a sprained left ankle. … Del Negro coached the Bulls the previous two seasons, getting them to the playoffs both times despite identical 41-41 records. … The Bulls are 12-1 when Rose has 10 or more assists.
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