The Los Angeles Clippers went in to the United Center Friday night and knocked off the Bulls, 112 to 95. Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Joakim Noah posted his 15th straight double-double for the Bulls. He finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Clippers, who have been playing without Chris Paul since January 3rd, hit seven three points shots in the first quarter en route to a 41-26 lead. Both Carlos Boozer and J.J. Redick had 16 in that first quarter. The Clippers continued their hot shooting in the second quarter. They hit three more three pointers for ten total in the first half. The Bulls entered Friday night’s contest with the second ranked team defense just behind the Pacers. You wouldn’t be able to tell as the Clippers finished the first half with 68 points, the most the Bulls have given up since November 4, 2010.
The second half was a half of runs for both teams. The Bulls went on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to eight. That was quickly erased as Darren Collison had a personal 10 point run a little bit later in the quarter. In that third quarter, Coach Thibodeau picked up his seventh technical of the season, tying him with Greg Popovich for the most in the league.
As for the fourth quarter, it was much of the same. The Clippers extended their lead to 21 with about nine and a half minutes remaining. The Clippers finished the game shooting just under 55% from inside the arc and an astonishing 62% from downtown. Jamal Crawford had 19 off the bench for the Clippers. DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 12 boards for the Clippers as well.
Taj Gibson pitched in 18 points of the bench for the Bulls.
Both teams will be back in action Saturday night. The Bulls will look to bounce back against the Bobcats while the Clippers will travel to Toronto.
Clinton Cole is the Chicago Bulls Beat Writer for Hoops-Nation.com. Follow Clinton on Twitter @cdcole55.