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Clippers share the spotlight to take down Bulls

Clippers share the spotlight to take down Bulls
  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Terance Mann #14 of the LA Clippers reaches for a rebound over Thaddeus Young #21 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls puts up a shot over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers grabs a rebound against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket past Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Garrett Temple #17 of the Chicago Bulls shoots against Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Terance Mann #14 of the LA Clippers shoots over Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Thaddeus Young #21 of the Chicago Bulls puts up a shot against Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives to the basket against Patrick Williams #9 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Thaddeus Young #21 of the Chicago Bulls shoots over Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers shoots against Patrick Williams #9 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young, left, shoots against Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Serge Ibaka #9 of the LA Clippers sets a pick on Patrick Williams #9 of the Chicago Bulls as Kawhi Leonard #2 drives around them at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, left, drives against Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, center, and guard Terance Mann during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young, left, drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers guard Reggie Jackson, center, and center Ivica Zubac during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann, center, goes up for a shot between Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young, left, and guard Zach LaVine during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young, right, intercepts a pass next to teammate Patrick Williams, center, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann, right, is defende dby Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, right, tries to block a shot by Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, left, forward Nicolas Batum, second from left, and forward Kawhi Leonard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago Bulls guard Coby White, left, shoots over Los Angeles Clippers guard Reggie Jackson during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple, left, drives as Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, right, talks with guard Reggie Jackson during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, drives against Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Serge Ibaka #9 of the LA Clippers defends against Daniel Gafford #12 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, left, looks to pass the ball as Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Nicolas Batum #33 of the LA Clippers blocks a shot by Coby White #0 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, left, blocks a shot by Chicago Bulls guard Coby White during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Los Angeles Clippers center Serge Ibaka, left, passes the ball as Chicago Bulls forward Daniel Gafford defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Clippers guard Terance Mann, left, is fouled by Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan, right, talks with guard Zach LaVine during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives against Tomas Satoransky #31 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers goes up for a dunk over Denzel Valentine #45 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers dunks over Denzel Valentine #45 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Chicago Bulls forward Daniel Gafford (12) shoots as Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley (21) and forward Nicolas Batum defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Serge Ibaka #9 of the LA Clippers rebounds over Daniel Gafford #12 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann, left, forward Marcus Morris Sr., (8) and guard Luke Kennard during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers tries to get off a shot against Daniel Gafford #12 and Garrett Temple #17 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers passes over Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Tomas Satoransky #31 of the Chicago Bulls is fouled by Terance Mann #14 of the LA Clippers at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Denzel Valentine #45 of the Chicago Bulls gets his hand on the ball on a shot by Reggie Jackson #1 of the LA Clippers at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Clippers defeated the Bulls 125-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives to the basket against (L-R) Patrick Williams #9, Coby White #0 and Luke Kornet #2 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Clippers defeated the Bulls 125-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

  • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers puts up a shot against Luke Kornet #2 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 12, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Clippers defeated the Bulls 125-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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“Oh, for sure,” NBA players dig playing in Chicago, coach Tyronn Lue said before his Clippers defeated the Bulls, 125-106, on Friday to improve to 2-2 without Paul George.

There’s something cool, Lue said, about playing on the same court where Michael Jordan made so much history, a legacy commemorated by the banners hanging high above the United Center court.

“If you was 6 feet or 7 feet, you wanted to be like Michael Jordan,” Lue said. “And when you can come into this arena, and just kind of see the history, you know the banners hanging up, you know Michael Jordan, six championships. It just means a lot.”

Lou Williams – who Friday morning posted a photo of his view of those rafters on Instagram, accompanied by the caption: “Whole adult life in this business and still not used to it” – helped the Clippers extend their impressive history in the Windy City.

The victory was the Clippers’ 16th in 20 years in Chicago, a win made possible, in large part, by the veteran guard’s play. Williams said he missed the crowd in “Michael Jordan’s house” – absent in accordance with local coronavirus health guidelines – but he put on a show nonetheless, scoring 11 of his 17 points in the final frame to up his running fourth-quarter tally to 58 points in the past five games.

Marcus Morris Sr. came off the bench and came through too, with five fourth-quarter 3-pointers for 15 of his 20 total points.

Together, their 26 points in the fourth period were only two fewer than the entire Bulls teams managed in the same span – a more-than-sufficient supplement to Kawhi Leonard’s game-high 33 points, another scoring outburst to help the Clippers overcome George’s absence.

Leonard’s co-star remained sidelined for a fourth consecutive game with a swollen bone in a right toe; there’s no known timetable for his return.

“(Leonard) has to be more aggressive on the offensive end when Paul is not out there, especially with how this team is built,” Williams said. “We have some primary scorers, we understand our roles, and once the second-leading scorer goes out, for you to be the first-leading scorer, you got to close that gap. I think he understands that and what he brings to the table and that is what I have seen.”

Clippers shooters warmed up late in the game, but they were uncharacteristically cold from outside through the first three periods (7 for 21 from 3-point range). So L.A. – and Leonard – went to work inside.

Leonard exhibited his precision from two-point range, where he went 13 for 15 on Friday, including a resounding “southpaw spike” – per Fox Sport West’s Brian Sieman – that made it 80-74 in the third quarter, when the Clippers (19-8) began to pull away.

And he had sufficient backup on the bench, which outscored Chicago’s 59-48 – thanks also to 12 points from center Ivica Zubac.

“I think they’re starting to understand how to play with each other, what to look for,” Lue said. “I know Lou has been on Zu a lot, just trying to get him on the same page and they’re figuring it out. It’s new for Zu, it’s new for Lou, it’s new for Twin (Morris Sr.) coming off the bench. But they’re starting to figure it out. That’s good and we’ve just got to continue to keep working.”

Playing in his hometown, Patrick Beverley logged 12 minutes – and scored six points – in his second game back after missing eight contests with right knee soreness. And Terance Mann logged a team-high 33 minutes, spending much of it harassing the Zach LaVine, the Bulls’ leading scorer.

After dropping 45 points on the Clippers in their first meeting this season – and 46 in his last outing Wednesday against New Orleans – LaVine again led the Bulls (10-15) on Friday, but he finished with a below-par (for him) 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Up next for the 19-8 Clippers: A five-games-in-eight-days homestand, including two in a row next Wednesday and Friday against the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz.





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