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Rapid Reaction: Clippers 112, Bulls 95

1/25/2014

When Doc Rivers hinted after Wednesday night's loss to Charlotte that Darren Collison might sit out a game or two because of a left big toe sprain, no one was surprised.

Collison was a shell of himself after suffering the injury last week against the Indiana Pacers and probably needed some time off. But with Chris Paul sidelined for another month, Collison refused to leave the Clippers without a starting point guard and suited up Friday night in Chicago.

He responded with 17 points and four assists in 29 minutes in what was easily his best game since his injury as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls 112-95 to improve to 8-3 without Paul.

How it happened: The Clippers jumped out to a 41-26 lead in the first quarter, going 7-for-8 from 3-point range and hitting 14-of-19 shots from the field. The Clippers never really looked back after that going up by as many as 21 points.

What it means: The Clippers responded well to their first bad loss without Paul by beating the Bulls on the road and improving to 3-2 on their trip. They also kept their first-place standing in the Pacific Division and top four seeding in the West.

Hits: Blake Griffin had 26 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, and six Clippers scored in double figures. DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford had 19 points off the bench.

Misses: After Jared Dudley was replaced by Matt Barnes in the starting lineup, Rivers said he hoped Dudley would add a scoring punch to the second unit. That hasn't happened yet. Against Chicago, Dudley did not score, missing all three of his shots in almost 19 minutes.

Stat of the game: The Clippers hit 13 of their 21 3-point attempts (61.9 percent) and are now 19-0 when they make at least nine 3-pointers.

Up next: The Clippers travel to Toronto to play the Raptors in the penultimate game of their two-week, seven-game trip. It’s the first game of the season between the teams. The Raptors are 22-20 on the season and are currently the No. 3 seed in the East behind Indiana and Miami.