NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, January 24th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (29-15) at Chicago Bulls (21-20), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls have played excellent basketball of
late and they'll need to again on Friday night when they welcome the Los
Angeles Clippers to the United Center.
The Bulls have won three straight and are 9-2 since New Year's Day. Chicago is
7-2 since trading All-Star forward Luol Deng.
On Wednesday, the Bulls knocked off Deng and his Cleveland Cavaliers, 98-87,
D.J. Augustin scored a game-high 27 points and dished out seven assists to
help lead the Bulls. Taj Gibson, filling in for an injured Carlos Boozer
(calf), matched his career-high with 26 points, Mike Dunleavy added 22 and
Joakim Noah finished with nine points, 18 rebounds and six assists for the
"I think we're getting better and improving. We're playing good basketball
right now, they're a good team. They crash the boards hard and battle. I'm
just happy we won," Noah said.
The Bulls have become the fifth over-.500 team in the Eastern Conference and
inched into the fifth spot. They are 12 back of the Pacers in the Central, and
the Bulls hit the road for seven of their next eight after Friday night.
The Clippers are on their fifth game of a seven-gam road odyssey. They are 2-2
thus far with wins over the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons, but losses
against the Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Bobcats.
The most recent outing was the setback to Charlotte on Wednesday.
Blake Griffin, who was voted a starter for the Western Conference All-Star
team, netted 27 points, but just one in the fourth quarter. Jamal Crawford
scored 20 points and DeAndre Jordan snatched 20 rebounds for Los Angeles,
which fell to 6-3 since losing point guard Chris Paul to a shoulder injury.
"We weren't hitting a lot of shots tonight and Blake saved us for a long
time," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "Then they started trapping him."
J.J. Redick (15) and Darren Collison (12) also scored in double figures for
the Clippers. Unfortunately, Jordan and Matt Barnes, LA's other two starters,
combined for eight points.
The Clippers have to visit the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks on this
The Clips demolished the Bulls by 39 at the Staples Center on Nov. 24 and have
taken three in a row and six of eight in this series. LA has won seven of its
last eight matchups in Chicago.
01/24 10:26:59 ET