CHICAGO —The Clippers took three buses to the United Center with the second two arriving inside an hour before tip-off. The last bus carrying coach Doc Rivers, Avery Bradley and Williams arrived 30 minutes before tip. The bus trip from the downtown hotel to the United Center typically takes around 20 minutes.
Rivers said his teams wasn’t fazed by the abbreviated warm-ups.
“I thought we played great at the beginning. Heck, all of these guys have played AAU. It was typical AAU: You show up and play. We didn’t have time to do film, we didn’t have time to do anything because we were so late and that’s on us. We got the traffic wrong today. I should know better,” said Rivers, who grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago.
Patrick Beverley, a Chicago native, wished the bus driver followed his directions.
“I told him to go down Jackson, but he didn’t listen.”
Lou Williams put up a stat line he won’t forget.
The reserve guard had 31 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls 106-101 on Friday night.
“It’s special. This is my first career triple double. This one I’ll celebrate. It’s cool,” Williams said. “Rebounding’s not necessarily my thing. I never bank on getting triple-doubles. I give up most of my rebounds away to the big guys. I let the ball bounce so they can get it.
“I just play. The only person that mentioned something to me was Boban (Marjanovic) with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. I was like, ‘I appreciate it, Boban, but you’re going to mess with my psyche.’ It was cool to get it. It was fun.”
With the Bulls leading 97-96, Patrick Beverley blocked 7-footer Lauri Markkanen’s shot in the paint, which led to a four-point play by Williams to give the Clippers a 100-97 lead. Zach LaVine cut the Clippers’ lead to 100-99 with 1:26 left, but Beverley was there again for the Clippers with a runner in the lane to extend the lead 102-99 with 37.8 seconds remaining.
“We were a little late on the rotation, we didn’t want Williams or (Tobias) Harris to beat us and we let Beverley to be the guy that beat us and he made the play,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said.
After a LaVine air-balled from 3-point range, Williams hooked up with Montrezl Harrell for an alley-oop dunk to close out the game as Los Angeles finished a cross-country trip with three wins in four games.
Lavine scored 29 points and Bobby Portis added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who have lost 12 of their last 13.
Dunn, who fouled Williams’ on the four-point play, is trying not to let the losses pile up in his head.
“I stay positive. I know what we’re going through. It’s adversity. It definitely hit this team. It shows your true character when adversity hits,” Dunn said.
The Clippers cut into the Bulls’ 12-point lead in the third behind Williams’ 12 points in the quarter. The Clippers trailed 82-80 going into the fourth.
Chicago extended the lead to 87-82 on LaVine’s three-point play, but the Clippers answered with a 7-0 run. Johnathan Motley capped off the run with a dunk to give the Clippers a 89-87 lead with 8:38 left in the game.
Jabari Parker, who has played limited minutes since being pushed out of the regular rotation by Bulls coach Jim Boylen in mid-December, came off the bench to score 12 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting. LaVine led the Bulls with 14 points and rookie Chandler Hutchison added 12 points and five rebounds. The Clippers, who had difficulties arriving from the team hotel to the United Center, trailed 56-52 at the half. Harris led Los Angles with 15 points
Parker signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in the offseason for $20 million a season, next season is a club option and doesn’t appear he is in Chicago’s future plans.