With a bit of exasperation, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue summed up the sentiment after his team’s seven-game win streak ended Sunday.
“… Whatever,” Lue said. “Start a new streak.”
Lue’s Clippers will get that chance Tuesday with a home date against the San Antonio Spurs.
Lue took plenty of the blame for Sunday’s defeat when the Clippers trailed most of the game, rallied for a fourth-quarter lead and then had nothing left to give as the Bulls finished off a 100-90 victory.
The game came less than 24 hours after the Clippers had extended their winning streak with a 129-102 domination of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Lue’s “whatever” was far from indifference, but a signal that it was time to move on and focus on the Spurs.
“We couldn’t really pick up their pace a lot like the last game, but it is what it is,” Lue said. “They came in and beat us, they played well, we didn’t play our best game and we understand that. That’s with a streak or no streak.”
The Clippers’ Paul George had 27 points with 11 rebounds against the Bulls, while Eric Bledsoe had 21 points to show he is on his way toward shaking some early-season shooting struggles.
But George and Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles’ primary distance shooters, were a combined 11 of 42 from the field and 5 of 21 from 3-point range. George did give the Clippers a 78-77 lead with 10 minutes remaining, but the Bulls answered with a 9-0 run and never trailed again.
“I mean, we just couldn’t make shots,” George said. “… A lot of in-and-outs, a lot of good looks. It just wasn’t my night shooting.”
Before the Clippers lost to the Bulls on Sunday evening, the Spurs got the lay of the land in Los Angeles with an afternoon 114-106 loss to the Lakers. San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray had his second triple-double of the season, but the Spurs lost for the fifth time in their last seven games.
“I was really happy with their effort,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Too many turnovers tonight against those guys, but we never gave in. They kept playing, they’re getting better. They’ve got to keep their energy up.”
The Spurs had 15 turnovers to the Lakers’ 14.
Murray had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the Lakers, similar to the 21-point, 12-rebounds, 15-assist game he had against them at home on Oct. 26. But the Spurs lost both games.
Devin Vassell had 19 points off the bench for the Spurs on Sunday, including 11 in the fourth quarter. The second-year player, who has scored 12.8 points per game, has given the Spurs at least 15 points in five of his last seven games, including each of the last three.
“Every time I am out on the court with (Vassell), I feel comfortable,” said Spurs veteran Thaddeus Young, who had 17 points and nine rebounds against the Lakers. “I feel like he’s going to make the right play, make the right read. He’s a very smart basketball player.”
–Field Level Media