The Los Angeles Clippers had their highest-scoring quarter this season in one quarter that helped them notch this win over the Chicago Bulls.
Los Angeles defeated the Chicago Bulls 128-121 as they stayed the course in the second half of the game. The third quarter was the Clippers’ best of the game and the production from that quarter carried over to the fourth.
It was a cold offensive start for the Clippers as their first points of the game came at the 9:44 mark from Danilo Gallinari’s free throws that tied the game at 2-2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Patrick Beverley, and Gallinari held the bulk of the scoring for the Clippers in the first quarter.
Gallinari’s scoring was back on par following his rest game against the Trail Blazers early in the week. His play was missed in that game so it was good for the Clippers to have him back in this contest as they are in play for a spot in the post-season.
When the Clippers held a two-point 19-17 lead over the Bulls at the 3:53 point of the first quarter, Gilgeous-Alexander and Gallinari started the game well with scoring.
It was a fairly close game throughout the first quarter as the Bulls kept up with the Clippers. Los Angeles pulled away to create some room late in the quarter as they led 34-29. Despite the lead, the Clippers shot just 41.7 percent from the field in contrast to the Bulls’ 60 percent from the field.
Whenever Los Angeles would try to maintain a lead, Chicago would come back in runs throughout the second quarter. The Clippers held a three-point lead 48-45 at the 5:15 mark of the quarter behind a Gallinari jump shot.
Chicago would still not let up in the second quarter as they were close behind Los Angeles. In the latter part of the quarter, some of the Clippers’ shots were unruly and the Bulls took advantage to stay in the game. Los Angeles kept allowing even more Chicago runs in the quarter.
The Bulls took the lead and held a 63-57 advantage over the Clippers at halftime. From the field, Bulls still held a higher percentage over the Clippers as they shot 56.8 percent on 13-21 field goals while the Clippers shot 40.8 percent.
It was a different Clippers’ team effort on the floor to start the third quarter. Los Angeles went on a 19-8 run as they led 78-71 at the 4:17 mark of the quarter. The Clippers run continued to extend throughout the quarter as they created a larger lead.
Following an offensive foul that was called on Montrezl Harrell, both head coaches in Doc Rivers and Jim Boylen were ejected from the game after a verbal spat on the sideline. At this point of the third quarter, the Clippers were up by 15 points, 91-76 with 1:14 remaining in the quarter.
When gameplay resumed, Harrell played with an added burst of energy for the rest of the second half. Harrell scored five points as the third quarter was winding down. His tip lay-up shot put the Clippers in Lawler’s Law territory as they led 101-84 with 2.2 seconds left in the third.
The third quarter finished with Los Angeles holding an 18-point lead as they were up 102-84. The Clippers had themselves a stellar and historic quarter as they outscored the Bulls 45-21 in one of their best quarters of this season. 45 points are the most they have scored in a quarter during a game this season.
Gallinari and Harrell were the sole Clippers’ players to have 20+ points early in the fourth. As the Clippers led 107-92 with 9:22 on the clock, Gallinari had 21 points, Harrell had 20 points, and Gilgeous-Alexander had 17 points.
Los Angeles had a comfortable double-digit lead for the most part of the fourth quarter. Chicago started to cut the lead down under five minutes remaining. It was an 11-point lead for the Clippers at the 4:35 mark. The Bulls continued to chip at the Clippers lead through the fourth as they went on a 21-14 run to be within single digits as the Clippers managed to hold on to the lead.
The Clippers offense’ in the fourth quarter was flowing as they kept the ball moving around for quality possessions. Despite that, the Clippers were still outscored from the field as they only shot 32 percent and the Bulls shot 52.6 percent.
Gilgeous-Alexander had himself a good showing in this game as he made an effort on plays, whether he was shooting, facilitating, or just active on the defensive end. This was a productive game for Gilgeous-Alexander all around.
He looked very comfortable and confident on both ends of the floor. He finished the game with 17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and a block all in 26 minutes of play.
Harrell’s second-half performance was great. In the fourth quarter alone, he posted 15 points, in contrast to his 10 points in the whole first half. Harrell kept up his effort from late in the third quarter to the fourth.
He had himself a mini block party in the fourth and notched a number of three-point plays. He had 26 points, five rebounds, two assists, and three blocks in the game.
Gallinari led the Clippers in scoring as he finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal. He was efficient from the field as he was 10-14 and a perfect 4-4 from three-point range.
Beverley’s presence on defense was an issue for the Bulls and he crashed the glass for rebounds throughout the game. On offense, Beverley was also productive as he scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had 7 assists.
Lou Williams had a quiet 21 points as he shot just 35.2 percent from the field on 6-17 shooting. Williams was also 1-3 from three-point range in the game. His only percentage that was over 50 percent was his free-throw percentage as he shot about 89 percent from the line on 8-9 shots.
The Clippers not only won the third quarter, but they won the turnover and offensive board battle over the Bulls. Los Angeles forced Chicago to turn the ball over 16 times while the Clippers only had seven. The Bulls might have beat the Clippers in the overall rebounds 44-43, but on the offensive end, the Clippers outrebounded the Bulls 15-8.
As the Clippers are in the playoff hunt, they are looking to get a good spot in the standings. With this win, the Clippers are in the 8th spot in the West and a matchup with the Golden State Warriors would not be ideal for them in the first round.
Los Angeles will host the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday at 6 p.m. PT.