CHICAGO (AP) — Lou Williams had 31 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls 106-101 on Friday night.
With the Bulls leading 97-96, Patrick Beverley blocked 7-footer Lauri Markkanen’s shot in the paint, which led to a four-point play by Williams to give the Clippers a 100-97 lead. Zach LaVine cut the Clippers’ lead to 100-99 with 1:26 left, but Beverley was there again for the Clippers with a runner in the lane to extend the lead 102-99 with 37.8 seconds remaining.
After a LaVine air-balled from 3-point range, Williams hooked up with Montrezl Harrell for an alley-oop dunk to close out the game as Los Angeles finished a cross-country trip with three wins in four games.
Lavine scored 29 points and Bobby Portis added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
The Clippers cut into the Bulls’ 12-point lead in the third behind Williams’ 12 points in the quarter. The Clippers trailed 82-80 going into the fourth.
Chicago extended the lead to 87-82 on LaVine’s three-point play, but the Clippers answered with a 7-0 run. Johnathan Motley capped off the run with a dunk to give the Clippers a 89-87 lead with 8:38 left in the game.
Jabari Parker, who has played limited minutes since being pushed out of the regular rotation by Bulls coach Jim Boylen in mid-December, came off the bench to score 12 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting. LaVine led the Bulls with 14 points and rookie Chandler Hutchison added 12 points and five rebounds. The Clippers, who had difficulties arriving from the team hotel to the United Center, trailed 56-52 at the half. Harris led Los Angles with 15 points
Parker signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in the offseason for $20 million a season, next season is a club option and doesn’t appear he is in Chicago’s future plans.
The Clippers took three buses to the United Center with the second two arriving inside an hour before tip-off. The third bus carrying coach Doc Rivers, Bradley and Williams arrived 45 minutes before tip. The second bus took 1 hour, 45 minutes to arrive due to snowy and freezing conditions in Chicago. The bus trip from the downtown hotel to the United Center typically takes around 20 minutes.
Due to the delay, Rivers was not available for his pregame media session. Assistant coach Rex Kalamian handled the duties. “You know what, we’re the type of team that adjusts well to adversity and things that are thrown at us. That bus ride is no different than landing in Miami two nights ago at 4 AM with no shootaround and just coming out and playing and that’s what we’ll do here,” said Kalamian. Not only did the Clippers have a tough time arriving to the United Center, the Bulls fans did to. The United Center appeared to be only half filled at tip. Bulls (19,978) are second only to Philadelphia in home attendance this season.
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