LOS ANGELES — Guard Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and forward Taj Gibson added 20, and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 105-89 Monday night at Staples Center.
Despite playing without injured forward/center Pau Gasol (left calf strain) and point guard Derrick Rose (hamstring), Chicago (8-3) dictated in the second half and snapped a four-game losing streak to Los Angeles (5-4). The Bulls are 6-0 on the road this season.
Forward Mike Dunleavy finished with 19 points for Chicago, while guard Kirk Hinrich chipped in 14 points. Center Joakim Noah scored 11 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out six assists. Butler had eight assists and six rebounds.
Guard Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 24 points. Forward Blake Griffin scored 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Bulls led 89-71 after a layup by Noah with 8:09 remaining in the game. A 12-2 spurt by the Clippers cut the gap to 91-83 after Griffin scored inside with 4:47 left. Los Angeles closed to within seven on a basket by center DeAndre Jordan with four minutes left, but a three-point play by Butler and a 3-pointer by Dunleavy pushed the lead back to double digits. The Clippers never recovered.
Los Angeles held a 46-32 advantage after a bucket by guard Chris Paul with 3:44 remaining in the second quarter. However, the Bulls went on a 16-4 run to end the half, capped by a three-point play by Butler to cut the Clippers’ lead to 50-48 at the break.
In the third quarter, Chicago dominated, racing out to a 69-60 lead after two free throws by Butler with 4:36 left. The Bulls outscored the Clippers 31-14 in the quarter for a 79-64 cushion heading into the fourth quarter. Chicago hit 57.1 percent of its shots in the third compared to 29.4 percent for Los Angeles.
On the night, the Bulls shot 48.8 percent and the Clippers hit 44.4 percent. Los Angeles also made just 10 of its 22 foul shots.
NOTES: Los Angeles G Chris Paul continues to build on his impressive start in assists and turnovers. Paul is the only NBA player to record 80 assists and commit only 12 miscues in his team’s first eight games. The league began tracking turnovers in 1977. … The Clippers swept the two-game series last season. They earned a 121-82 blowout in Los Angeles on Nov. 24 and a 112-95 rout Jan. 24 in Chicago. … The clubs will meet again in Chicago on March 1, 2015. … The Bulls resume their seven-game road swing Thursday against the Sacramento Kings. … Los Angeles embarks on a seven-game trip beginning Wednesday in Orlando against the Magic.
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