Nov 13, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) dribbles the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
The LA Clippers are a 4.5-point home favorite against the Bulls
Chicago is 1-7 straight up, 4-4 ATS their last eight in LA
LA is 5-1 ATS in their last six; 4-4 ATS at home
The host Los Angeles Clippers (8-4) are a 4.5-point favorite against the Chicago Bulls at 9:30 pm ET Sunday. The Clippers have won seven games in a row after losing three of their first four to open the season .
Chicago (8-4) had a two-game winning string broken in a 119-93 loss to Western Conference leader Golden State on Friday, their most lopsided loss of the season.
Bulls vs Clippers Odds
Over 219 (-112)
Los Angeles Clippers
Under 219 (-108)
Odds from FanDuel on November 14
George and the Gang
Paul George has established himself as the clear leader and an MVP candidate in the absence of All-Star Kawhi Leonard, who suffered a knee injury in the Western Conference finals against Phoenix last season and is expected to miss the majority of the season.
George had 23 points and nine rebounds in a 129-102 victory over Minnesota on Saturday and is averaging 26.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists with an effective field goal percentage of 53.9. He is fourth in the league in scoring.
Guard Reggie Jackson is averaging 18.3 points, and the rest of the scoring. is balanced evenly. Four others, including guard Eric Bledsoe and reserves Terance Mann and Luke Kennard, are averaging between 10. 9 and 10.3 pointe per game.
The Clippers are doing it on both ends of the floor. They are in the top seven in the league in points scored and points against and have limited opponents to 42.3 percent shooting from the field, second in the league. They fourth in points differential at plus-6.5 and are fifth in points against, 103.6.
Early Test Run
Chicago will play five of the Western Conference’s most difficult matchups on its current five-game road trip, which started with a 119-93 loss at Golden State and continues with games at both Los Angeles teams, Portland and Denver. All are in the West’s top eight.
The Bulls (+280) lead the Central Division by percentage points and are FanDuel’s second-favorite to win the division behind defending league champion Milwaukee (-340). This trip gives the Bulls a chance to see how they stack up.
The Bulls already have beaten Northwest Division leader Utah and Southwest Division leader Dallas at the United Center.
Zach LaVine and newcomer DeMar DeRozan are averaging a shade more than 25 points a game, and Lonzo Ball is shooting a career-high 42.2 percent from 3-point range.
The Bulls are getting a lot of mileage out of the home run passes from new point guard Lonzo Ball to Zach LaVine, so much so that Bulls commentator Stacey King is calling the group Chi Slama Jama.
What’d we tell you about Zo & Zach?@NBCSChicago | @ZachLavine pic.twitter.com/QOuEs34R9w
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 11, 2021
Ball has 10 transition assists to LaVine this season, a figure that trails only the 11 long-distance connections between Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges entering weekend games. Ball is averaging 12 points an d 4.4 assists.
2021-22 NBA Divisional Odds Tracker
Vucevic, Ibaka Unavailable
Bulls center Nikola Vucevic has been placed in the NBA’s Covid-19 health and safety protocols after testing positive on Thursday and will miss at least 10 days or until he has two negative tests in a 24-hour period, which could make him a no-show on the Western swing.
Tony Bradley played 14 minutes at center against the Warriors in his first career start filling in for Vucevic, but the Bulls mainly turned to small lineups to match up. Vucevic is averaging a double-double, 13.6 points and 10.9 rebounds.
Clippers reserve center Serge Ibaka is expected to miss the game after requesting to be sent to the G League to work on his timing and conditioning following his first two appearances last week following June back surgery. He played five scoreless minutes in an early shift in a 117-109 victory over Portland last Tuesday and did not re-enter.
Reserve forward Marcus Morris (knee) missed the Minnesota is not expected to play.
Bulls vs Clippers Prediction
The Bulls are 8-4 straight up and ATS. They are 3-2 straight up and ATS on the road. They are 1-2 as a road dog and have lost their two away from home.
The streaking Clippers are a cohesive unit that is playing its best ball of the season, and without Vucevic the Bulls are short in the middle.
The pick: Clippers -4.5 (-110)