Jimmy Butler led six players in double figures with 22 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-89 Monday night to improve to 6-0 on the road for the first time since 1996-97.
Taj Gibson had 20 points starting in place of the injured Pau Gasol, Mike Dunleavy Jr. added 19 points and Joakim Noah had 11 points and 16 rebounds. The Bulls remained the NBA’s only undefeated road team while opening a season-long, seven-game trip without the injured Derrick Rose.
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 24 points off the bench, and Blake Griffin added 19 points and 10 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan had 10 points and 17 rebounds. Griffin was just 5 of 10 from the free throw line, where the Clippers were 10 of 22.
Butler was coming off a career-high 32-points in a loss to Indiana. He made 9 of 10 free throws, had eight assists and six rebounds.
The Bulls enjoyed a double-digit lead throughout the fourth that reached 18 points on a basket by Aaron Brooks. The Clippers got within seven with four minutes to go, but the Bulls got consecutive 3-pointers from Dunleavy and they held Los Angeles to just one field goal in the final 3:32.
Chicago dominated the third after there were four ties early. Gibson scored six points, Dunleavy five and Butler four in a 21-6 run that sent the Bulls into the fourth leading 79-64. The Clippers were held to just 14 points in the quarter, while getting outrebounded 13-8 and going 1 of 5 from the line.
The Bulls closed with a 16-4 spurt to trail 50-48 at the half, highlighted by Butler’s 17-footer off Gibson’s steal of Crawford. He then fouled Gibson, who completed the three-point play.
The Clippers built a 14-point lead in the second, with Crawford scoring seven points and Spencer Hawes hitting two 3-pointers in the 21-6 run.
Bulls: Rose missed his second straight game with a left hamstring injury. … Gasol, who has a left calf strain, leads the team with six double-doubles and is averaging 18.6 points and 10.6 rebounds. … It’s their longest road trip since a 14-game, nine-day streak in 2011-12.
Clippers: Glen Davis’ jumper in the second quarter was his 1,500th career field goal. … Former Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy was on hand to see his son Mike Jr. start for the Bulls. … Former Clipper Baron Davis, former Angel Gary Matthews Jr., Billy Crystal, Penny Marshall and Rev. Jesse Jackson attended.