Chicago Bulls vs LA Clippers

 

It’s an interconference contest on the hardwood in the City of Angels. The Chicago Bulls are on the road as they take the trip to face the LA Clippers Sunday afternoon. Chicago was edged 117-115 on the road in this building by the Lakers Friday night in their previous contest. LA let a big lead slip away as they were dropped 115-105 on the road by the Warriors in their previous contest Friday night. The Bulls lead the all-time regular season series between the teams by a 66-53 margin. That includes a 109-106 home victory in the lone meeting between the teams last season on December 14, 2019.

Chicago Bulls Try to Rebound From Narrow Loss

Chicago gave the defending champion Lakers all they could handle but ended up falling a bucket short on the road Friday night. The Bulls dropped to 4-6 overall and stand fourth in the Central Division, three games behind the Pacers for the division lead. Chicago led by five after the opening quarter, trailed by one at the half and trailed by four after three quarters. The Bulls were down 12 early in the fourth quarter and closed to within one with 37 seconds to play but couldn’t get any more points on the board. Chicago shot 50.5 percent from the field, including 10 of 36 from three-point range, but allowed the Lakers to shoot 50.6 percent in the game. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 38 points, five rebounds and six assists in the loss.

For the year, Chicago stands 7th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 115 points per contest. The Bulls are 17th in rebounding as they collect an average of 43.9 boards a night while they are 16th in assists by handing out an average of 24.4 dimes per contest. Chicago is a dismal 27th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 120.2 points per game in the early going this season. Zach LaVine leads the team with 26 points per contest on the year. Lauri Markkanen puts up 17.3 points plus 6.8 boards a night while Coby White chips in 18.1 points and 5.5 assists a game. Wendell Carter Jr. (12.9 points, 8.1 boards), Otto Porter Jr. (12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds), and Patrick Williams (9.6 points) are all contributing on the offensive end. Thaddeus Young, Denzel Valentine, Ryan Arciadiacono, Chandler Hutchison, Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple and Daniel Gafford are looked at to provide valuable minutes as well. As a team, Chicago is 13th in the league in field goal percentage as they knock down 46.5 percent of their shots on the year. The Bulls are 13th in the league by knocking down 12.9 three-pointers per contest while they stand 17th by hitting 36.1 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc on the year. Markkanen, Satoransky, Arciadiacono and Hutchison are all out with no timetable of return due to health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.

LA Clippers Look to Regroup After Blown Opportunity

Los Angeles had the Warriors on the ropes but couldn’t put them away as they blew a lead of at least 15 points for the eighth time since last season, the most in the league. The Clippers fell to 6-4 overall and stand third in the Pacific Division standings, one game behind the Lakers. LA was up 14 in the first quarter and by eight after the opening stanza. The Clippers were up 14 at the half and extended to an 85-63 lead with 3:15 to go in the third quarter before things fell apart. LA was outscored 18-2 the rest of the quarter to cut the lead to six and then was outscored 34-18 in the fourth quarter to take the loss. The Clippers shot 48.2 percent from the field, including 14 of 31 from three-point range, and allowed Golden State to shoot 48.8 percent, including 20 of 41 from beyond the arc. Paul George had 25 points and seven assists to lead LA in the loss.

For the year, the Clippers are 19th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 110 points per game. LA is 28th in rebounding with 41.7 boards a night while they stand 18th in assists by handing out 24.3 per game. The Clippers are 12th in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 109.2 points a night. Paul George leads the team with 24.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and five assists a night. Kawhi Leonard kicks in 23.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists a game while Serge Ibaka adds 12.5 points plus seven boards a contest. Ivica Zubac, Lou Williams, Nicolas Batum (10.5 points, six rebounds), Luke Kennard, Patrick Beverley, Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris Sr. are key players in the rotation. LA is 11th in field goal percentage as they shoot 47 percent from the floor as a team. The Clippers are seventh by knocking down 14.1 three-pointers a night while they are second in the league by drilling a sizzling 41.2 percent of their long-range attempts.