The Clippers were close -- very close -- to winning their fourth straight game Wednesday night against the Bulls in Chicago. But a rookie mistake cost them the game in regulation, and their inability to score in overtime ended up costing them the game altogether, as the Bulls won it by a score of 115-109.
L.A. had a four-point lead with 20 seconds to play, when the Bulls' Ben Gordon used a screen to free himself at the top of the circle for an off-balance three-point attempt. The Clippers' Eric Gordon made a weak attempt to needlessly contest the shot, and hit Ben on his non-shooting arm as the shot went up. Eric's defense had no effect on the shot (it went in), but it caused the ref to whistle him for the shooting foul, allowing the Bulls to tie the game on a rare four-point play.
The Clips had a chance to win it in regulation, but for some reason, it seems that Mike Dunleavy is either unwilling or unable to draw up a decent play when the team is in that situation. Baron Davis dribbled down most of the clock, before passing it to Al Thornton near the baseline for an isolation play. Thornton launched a very tough fade-away 20-footer that was heavily contested at the buzzer which rimmed out, sending the game into overtime.
From there, it was all Bulls. After Zach Randolph scored the first three points of the extra period with a jumper and a free throw, the Bulls closed the game on a 9-0 run to seal it.
Randolph had a monster game, and finished with 30 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. (Maybe Dunleavy should have glanced at the stat sheet before he drew up that final play in regulation for Thornton.) Marcus Camby dominated the boards, grabbing a ridiculous 27 rebounds and blocking four shots, while chipping in 19 points.
As for Baron Davis, he seriously needs to stop shooting. He continued his recent trend of missing most of his shots with a 6-for-23 effort in 44 minutes. Between Dunleavy's poor play calling, Baron's poor shooting, and Eric Gordon's poor judgment, there were just too many things for the Clippers to overcome in Chicago.