for this game

Gordon gets Bulls going early in win over Clippers

Nov 18, 2007 - 7:45 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The long road trip just got a little less arduous for the Chicago Bulls.

Ben Gordon scored 14 of his 25 points in the first half and the Bulls never trailed during a 92-73 victory over the struggling Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

Ben Wallace added nine points, 13 rebounds and six steals for Chicago, which improved to 1-1 on a six-game road trip that continues over the next week with games against the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors.

"That is as closest we've looked to how we normally play," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "It's taken awhile but I am glad to have one of them. I thought we were aggressive from beginning to end."

Skiles inserted Andres Nocioni into the starting lineup and he responded with 21 points and eight rebounds in 38 minutes. He was 6-of-12 from the floor, hit two 3-pointers and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.

"We put Nocioni in the starting lineup. I think he spreads the floor a little bit and it gives us another shooter out there," Gordon said. "That may be why we played a lot better out there."

Chicago shot 63 percent (12-of-19) and Gordon had nine points and four rebounds en route to a 29-16 first-period lead. The Bulls pushed the lead to 19 on Kirk Hinrich's 3-pointer with 4:53 left in the half, but the Clippers pulled within 51-40 with a closing 9-2 run fueled by a pair of 3-pointers by Tim Thomas.

"We made a nice solid run in the third quarter, but we just didn't have enough," Clippers center Chris Kaman said. "We didn't play the right way we're supposed to play and are capable of playing."

Los Angeles pulled within seven on a 3-pointer by Cuttino Mobley, but Chicago quickly got the lead back to double figures and pushed it to as many as 21 in the fourth.

"We started being aggressive and attacked them right from the start," Gordon said. "We kept our energy for a full 48 minutes. That is something we have struggled with since the beginning of the year. We showed just how good we can play if we work together. "Whatever we did before this game we have to continue to do that and come mentally prepared and play with the intensity we had tonight."

Kaman continued perhaps the best stretch of basketball of his career. The 7-foot Kaman, who entered averaging 18.1 points and 14.3 rebounds, scored 21 points on 10-of-17 shooting and added eight rebounds.

"Tonight was a tough game for us," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We really didn't have anyone that had it going tonight except for Kaman. He's been our anchor." But he couldn't prevent the Clippers' fourth loss in five games after a 4-0 start.

Prior to losing to the Bulls, who entered with one win, the Clippers dropped a 122-105 decision to the winless Golden State Warriors on Friday.

"We just have to try and bounce back until we can get guys back into the lineup," Dunleavy said.

Thomas scored 14 points but no other starter reached double figures for Los Angeles, which played without leading scorer Corey Maggette, who missed the game due to a strained right hamstring.

"Our offense was very stagnant," Thomas said. "They jumped on us right from the beginning and we never made it back. We were doing a lot of 1-on-1. With a team like that, you can't go 1-on-1 situations because they're going to stick to the ball pretty well. That was the difference."

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