LOS ANGELES —
Kirk Hinrich had nine points and seven assists while starting in place of Rose, who missed last season after tearing a ligament in his left knee. Rose played in just 10 games before getting hurt again, but the Bulls are hoping he won’t be out as long this time.
“We’ve done it before,” Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said, noting Rose has missed much of the past two seasons since his 2011 MVP campaign.
“This is year No. 3 now, so we’ve got experience doing it,” he added. “But we’ve got to get the fight. That’s the first part of it — the determination, the fight and the will. The core of the team in there is the same core we had last year.”
While Chicago foundered, Los Angeles finished strong in a stretch of four games in five days, surpassing a pair of 37-point wins by the Buffalo Braves during the late 1970s for the biggest margin of victory in franchise history.
The Clippers played back-to-back afternoon home games this weekend, an occasional hazard of sharing a building with the Lakers and the NHL’s Kings. But a day after blowing a 20-point lead in a victory over Sacramento, the Clippers showed little fatigue from their packed schedule — and the starters got the fourth quarter off as a reward.
“It’s the best game this season, we got the opportunity to sit all quarter,” Paul said. “That’s huge for our team. This was our fourth game in five nights. We could have come in with a lot of excuses, but we did what we were supposed to do.”
Los Angeles got out to an early double-digit lead with sharp perimeter shooting from Redick and Dudley, who combined for 29 points in the first half. The Clippers got remarkable performances from the two new additions to their starting lineup, with Dudley and Redick combining to make 16 of their 21 shots.