Clippers Vs. Bulls: Missed Free Throw Gives L.A. 100-99 Win

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin knocked down the deciding free throw with 42.5 seconds remaining and the Los Angeles Clippers held on for a 100-99 victory over the Chicago Bulls at United Center. Chicago scored six straight points to end the game, but Derrick Rose made only 1-of-2 free throws with 0.8 seconds remaining, ending the comeback. Griffin, the early favorite to win Rookie of the Year, earned his 15th straight double-double with 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who won their second road game in as many nights.

Baron Davis scored 16 and dished out seven assists and Eric Gordon supplied 15 points for Los Angeles, who gave head coach Vinny Del Negro a win in his return to Chicago. "All the wins are great," stated Del Negro. "Obviously this one is a little bit more special just because it's Chicago. The credit goes to our players. It's a back-to-back game for us, I thought they had great effort." Rose had a game-high 34 points with eight assists and Carlos Boozer scored 25, but the Bulls had their seven-game winning streak snapped.

Davis' driving layup with 1:08 remaining gave the Clippers a 99-91 advantage, but Boozer's layup cut the LA lead to six. Griffin was fouled at the other end and made 1-of-2 from the line with 42.5 seconds left for the final Clipper points. Rose drove for a layup, was fouled and converted the three-point play at 38.3 to start a 6-0 run and make it a two-possession game. The Clippers worked the ball to midcourt, but Chicago's Luol Deng forced a steal that bounced off Gordon's foot, regaining possession for the Bulls.

On the next possession, Rose was driving to the basket, but dished to Boozer at the last second for a short layup with 31.2 seconds remaining to make it a two-point game. After LA missed a layup, Rose charged into the lane on the right side and was fouled attempting a floating layup with 0.8 seconds left. After making the first free throw, Rose bounced the second one off the front iron to end the comeback attempt one point short.

"I felt it," stated Rose regarding the last free throw. "I felt it come a little bit short. I have to get past this as a player. I have to know if I am put in that situation I can knock them down." The first quarter was a battle of the forwards as Boozer and Griffin paced their respective teams in scoring -- Boozer had 11, Griffin 10 -- and the Bulls took a 31-28 lead into the second. Rasual Butler scored 11 points off the bench in the second quarter to lead the Clippers to a 61-53 advantage at the half.

The third quarter was all about Rose, who scored 15 of Chicago's 23 points in the 12 minutes. However, the Bulls were only able to take a point off the Clippers' advantage, pulling within 83-76 heading into the final stanza. Deng finished with 17 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls...Del Negro coached Chicago from 2008-2010, before being fired last offseason...The Clippers won the rebound battle 38-37...Craig Smith and Butler finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench for LA.

 

For more Clippers news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Clips Nation.

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