From Joey Crawford making a fool of himself during a Nikola Mirotic free throw to DeAndre Jordan ruling the boards and injuring Jimmy Butler, it was a bad day for the Chicago Bulls in a 96-86 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, orchestrated by Chris Paul.
Jordan finished with 26 rebounds, including 6 on offense, despite playing against two excellent frontcourt players in Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. The Bulls having an awful shooting day helped him stand out.
Besides the nice numbers from Jordan up in the air and near the basket, the man of the moment was Chris Paul, which is often the right answer to that question when it comes to the Clippers. He was fantastic in his almost 38 minutes on the floor with the Clippers outscoring their opponents by 20 points in that timeframe. Without him, the Clippers dropped to 0.52 points per play and shooting 25% from the field. Luckily for them, the Bulls are a mess right now.
Paul scored 28 points to go with 12 assists, and did an incredible job off the pick and roll, something the Bulls used to defend very well. He scored 15 of his points that way on 77.8% from the field as the Clippers finished with 24 points on 15 pick & roll attempts. He is now also tied with Russell Westbrook for most games with 20-10 this season, matching him at 13 so far.
Besides grabbing rebounds with ease against the likes of Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, Jordan also caused an injury to Jimmy Butler, the last thing the Bulls need right now. The moment Butler left could have been seen as when things fell apart for the Bulls, as the shooting guard did well with 10 points in 22 minutes.
Nikola Mirotic was fantastic with 29 points and 9 rebounds but like his teammates, looked a bit lost whenever there was a rebound to grab next to Jordan. Overall the Bulls looked a bit helpless offensively as the motions of struggling without Derrick Rose are being felt. Whenever a team shoots just 31% from the field, you’re likely to see someone on the other side enjoy a very nice rebound number on the box score.