A win is a win no matter how a team gets it.
“Well, we won,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s all I’ll say to that one.”
The Clippers struggled to put the young Bulls team away down the stretch. They went on a 14-4 midway through the third quarter that increased their lead to 14 early in the fourth. The Clippers allowed the Bulls to hang around until the final whistle. It was a game the Clippers could have easily lost.
They were out-rebounded by the Bulls 45-42 and lost the points in the paint battle 60-54. They also turned the ball over more than the Bulls (14 to nine). Despite the win, the Clippers know they have to play better as the games will only get tougher.
“Right now, it’s about us getting better as a unit and prepared for the playoffs,” Jordan said. “That is us paying attention to coverage’s on both ends of the floor and staying locked.”
Staying locked in is right. In their last 11 games, the Clippers are 8-3 and are now seventh in the Western Conference. Their next two games will be their most challenging, as they will travel to Houston to face the Rockets on Thursday and will end their road trip in Oklahoma City to face the Thunder on Friday.
The Rockets have won 18 of their last 19 games and have the best record in the NBA while the Thunder are always a tough out led by Russell Westbrook. The Clippers are only two games behind the Thunder, who sit in fourth in the standings.
“The approach is to win,” Harris said. “The approach is to go out there and compete every single night. Go out there and collect wins. Obviously, in the situation we’re (in), the margin of error is very slim so we have to be ready at all times.”
In other news, the Clippers will be without Avery Bradley for six to eight weeks after getting surgery to repair muscles in his pubic area. They will need to make the playoffs if Bradley wants to play again this season.