DeMar DeRozan leads Bulls past Clippers.
Los Angeles – It doesn’t really end until the Clippers’ road runs out, but after winning seven times in a row, you can finally stab a fork in their winning streak.
The Clippers (8-5) fell short, despite closing a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and briefly taking a one-point lead with two defensive-minded slug fests Sunday night. Lost to the Chicago Bulls 100-90. The crew in front of a crowd of 17,899 at Staples Center.
The Clippers led 78-77 in the fourth quarter, but two former local college students helped Chicago (9-4) dodge Tyronn Lue’s team in the final 10 minutes.
Compton-born DeMar DeRozan, who played jointly at USC, scored nine of his game’s best 35 points in the fourth quarter. He threw a total of 15 to 11 shots, 10 of 11 free throws, and added 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 37 minutes.
UCLA product Zach LaVine gave Chicago 29 points, 13-6 from the depths.
Paul George finished with 27 points on a 7-25 shot. He had 11 rebounds with a perfect 11-11 from the free-throw line. Eric Bledsoe finished with 21 points. Reggie Jackson was the only other clipper to score 13 points on a 4-17 shot and scored in double digits.
The Clippers shot just 35.8% as a team. This is the second-lowest percentage of games of the season. They also committed 20 turnovers, comparable to the best of the season.
The Clippers continued to play later in the weekend, hoping to gain momentum against Chicago on Sunday with a 129-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
Chicago came after the Bulls started a five-game Western Conference Roadswing after suffering the first double-digit margin loss of the season after being defeated by Golden State 119-93 on Friday.
The Clippers were out of sync early on, with 10 first-quarter turnovers, 15 attempts and 5 recoveries, and a 30-17 deficit.
It was a different story for DeRozan. He went 5 of 7 in the first quarter for his total of 12.
The Bulls led 54-45 at halftime after the Clippers beat Chicago 28-24 in the second quarter. This is due to George’s 11 points.
The Clippers kept him close and refused to separate Chicago. Not surprisingly, George had something to do with it. He leaned over to the hoop and barked at the foul reference (and raised the T once and hit the next foul).
Their efforts closed the gap to 68-64, the closest the Clippers came to because it was 11-8.
Going into fourth place, the Clippers trailed 77-71. Two minutes and two seconds later, after George cached the fall down bench shot, they led 78-77, their first lead as it was 8-7.
Chicago reaction: DeRozan. When the Bulls scored six quick points to go 83-78, he scored four points to help Tony Bradley’s bucket.
Ravine then lost 45 points to the Clippers at Staples Center last season, hitting 3s and taking the lead to eight points.
Chino Hills’ Lonzo Ball finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 34 minutes.