114 - 101 Final
  for this game

Rose leads Bulls past Paul, Clippers

Dec 31, 2011 - 6:54 AM
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Score another one for the reigning MVP.

In a game between two of the NBA's top point guards, Derrick Rose got the better of Chris Paul as the Chicago Bulls topped the Los Angeles Clippers, 114-101, at Staples Center.

Rose had 29 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds in helping the Bulls win three times on their four-game season-opening road trip.

Luol Deng and Joakim Noah each contributed 19 points and eight rebounds, as Chicago pulled away in the final quarter to spoil the home opener for the Clippers. Richard Hamilton provided 16 points.

Paul and Rose have squared off against each other five times in their career, with Rose and the Bulls owning a 5-0 record. The previous four games were against the Hornets.

"I just had to get a rhythm going and it's coming back to me," Rose said. "I just wanted to win. We attacked and passed the ball. We made great hustle plays. Everybody is hitting the shots they're supposed to hit. I think we're a way-better offensive team than last season."

Blake Griffin totaled 34 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who haven't won a home opener since November 2, 2007 when they defeated Golden State. Paul chipped in 15 points, 14 assists and four steals.

The Clippers, who played without Chauncey Billups (sore right groin), were as close as three early in the fourth, but the Bulls were perfect from beyond the arc (5-of-5) and at the foul line (10-of-10) in the last quarter.

"In the fourth quarter they jumped on us and we had to play catch-up," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Our defense and rebounds are an issue now. Derrick is a handful and he hit some tough shots in the fourth. We have a lot of work to do."

Trey Thompkins drained a three to get LA within 87-84 with 9 1/2 minutes left, but Ronnie Brewer countered by sinking a long-distance shot. That started a string of 10 straight Chicago points.

Rose, who scored 12 in the last period, made two free throws before Deng's three capped the spurt. The double-digit difference remained the rest of the way.

Paul had an inspiring speech to the sellout crowd prior to the game and the Clippers backed that up early with strong play, started by a thunderous slam from Griffin. That began a 7-0 rally to start the game, but by quarter's end Chicago held a 29-28 edge.

It remained tight throughout the second quarter, but Noah's slam in the closing seconds provided a 57-52 lead for the visitors going to the locker room.

The Clippers played from behind in the third, tying the game at 77 on a Griffin foul shot, but the Bulls then scored the final six of the quarter.

Game Notes

The Bulls, who play seven of their first 10 games away from the Windy City, open their home schedule Sunday night against Memphis...Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and three blocks. He's recorded at least one block in 17 straight games...Chicago held a 45-31 rebounding advantage.