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Paul, Clippers beat Bulls, who lose Butler

Mar 1, 2015 - 10:24 PM Chicago, IL ( - Chris Paul had 28 points and 12 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers pulled away to beat the injury-riddled Chicago Bulls 96-86 on Sunday.

DeAndre Jordan grabbed 26 rebounds in the win, including 17 in the first half, while Jamal Crawford added 16 points and Spencer Hawes had 14 points and nine rebounds.

The Clippers have won two in a row and are 6-3 without star forward Blake Griffin, who underwent surgery before the All-Star break to remove a staph infection in his right elbow.

They took the lead for good on Crawford's jumper with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It was part of a 15-4 run led by Paul's six points and capped by his free throw for an 11-point lead with just over a minute to go.

"It was the moment of truth in the game," Crawford of the fourth quarter.

The Clippers improved to 9-1 in their last 10 games at United Center since the 2004-05 season.

Chicago played much of the second half without All-Star guard Jimmy Butler, who left the game early in the third quarter with a sprained left elbow.

The Bulls, of course, were already dealing with the loss of former MVP Derrick Rose, who will miss up to six weeks after having surgery on Friday to repair a medial meniscus tear in his right knee.

"This is really tough for us because Jimmy was our leader," said Nikola Mirotic, who led the Bulls with 29 points off the bench.

Pau Gasol returned after missing Friday's win over Minnesota with an illness, but Taj Gibson was out after suffering an ankle injury Friday.

Aaron Brooks scored 14, Tony Snell had 13 points and Joakim Noah finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls.

Chicago fell to 3-2 on its seven-game homestand.

Butler was hurt running into a pick set by Jordan but the Bulls took their largest lead on a Snell 3-pointer that made it 61-53 five minutes into the third quarter. The Clippers scored the next nine points -- Paul had two on a jumper after crossing over Brooks -- but soon trailed by five after a Bulls run.

The score was tied 69-69 going into the fourth quarter.

Earlier, the Clippers shot 50 percent in the first quarter for a 26-18 lead. Mirotic had 11 points for Chicago in the second, including six during a 9-0 run to open the quarter that gave the Bulls the lead. It remained close for the rest of the half and the Clippers led 43-41 at the break.

Game Notes

Jordan had a career-high 27 rebounds against Dallas on Feb. 9 ... Butler had 10 points ... J.J. Redick scored 12 for the Clippers ... The Bulls beat the Clippers 105-89 on Nov. 17 in Los Angeles ... Chicago hosts Washington on Tuesday ... The Clippers are 2-1 on a four-game road trip that ends Monday against Minnesota.