NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 11th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (14-6) at Chicago Bulls (11-8), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Clippers will ride a six-game winning streak into the Windy City Tuesday night when they take on the Chicago Bulls.
The Clippers haven't lost since Nov. 26 at home against the New Orleans Hornets. Five of the six wins were at home and Tuesday night's contest begins a four-game road trip.
For just the third time in Clippers history, the team has 14 wins through 20 games.
The Clippers boast the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week in Blake Griffin. Over his last four, Griffin averaged 23 ppg and 10.3 rpg. With Chauncey Billups injured again, and Chris Paul not posting Chris Paul numbers recently, the bench has carried the Clippers.
The Clippers led the Toronto Raptors by four points after three quarters on Sunday, but the reserves held the Raptors scoreless for almost seven minutes. Jamal Crawford leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring and the Clips won for the fourth time in their last five outings without the starters scoring a point in the final quarter.
"Our starters had their moments tonight, but overall I thought our bench was the key again," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "They're just doing a more consistent job for us defensively in terms of talking, getting into people as a group."
The Bulls have won three in a row themselves, including a home win Saturday night against the New York Knicks, who played once again without star Carmelo Anthony.
The Bulls bested the Knicks 93-85 based on the great play of Luol Deng and Marco Belinelli, who both netted 22 points. Belinelli is seeing a significant bump in minutes with the injury to Rip Hamilton. Belinelli had 15 of his 22 in the first quarter.
Joakim Noah added 10 points and 11 rebounds to go with a staggering nine turnovers. Deng played all but 1:26 in the Knicks game and Noah and Belinelli both logged over 44 minutes.
Kirk Hinrich didn't play in the second half with an elbow injury and Taj Gibson was ejected in the second quarter after picking up two technical fouls. It all led to some gassed Bulls.
"I was really tired out there," said Noah. "I was tired, but it's all worth it right now. We're growing as a team. We need everybody. We were shorthanded, but we're fighting. It's all you can ask for. As long as we're fighting, the city should be proud."
The Bulls will try to avenge a 101-80 loss earlier this season in Los Angeles.
The Clippers are 9-2 in their last 11 in Chicago.
12/11 10:33:32 ET