Nicolas Batum scored 24 points and Kawhi Leonard added 22 points with seven rebounds and six assists as the Los Angeles Clippers moved closer to securing a top-six spot in the Western Conference with a 124-112 victory over the visiting Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Eric Gordon added 22 points as the Clippers (40-36) won for the third time in their last five games. Bones Hyland added 13 points, while Russell Westbrook had 12 points and 10 assists as the Clippers remained in fifth place in the West.
The victory came without Paul George, who will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with a knee injury. Marcus Morris Sr. also was out for Los Angeles with an illness, while Norman Powell remains out with a shoulder injury.
Zach LaVine scored 23 points and DeMar DeRozan added 21 for the Bulls (36-39), who entered with five victories in their last six games as they continue to hold the final play-in tournament spot in the Eastern Conference.
Nikola Vucevic scored 20 points with eight rebounds and Patrick Williams added 16 points for Chicago, which went 2-1 on a West Coast road trip and plays four of its last seven games at home. The Bulls were without Alex Caruso (foot soreness).
The Bulls got off to a hot start, taking a 32-27 lead after one quarter, with the Clippers pouring it on in the second quarter to take a 62-55 lead at halftime. Los Angeles shot 57.1 percent from the field and 52.4 percent (11 of 21) from 3-point range before the break.
The Clippers’ lead was 99-77 after three quarters, and they held off the Bulls down the stretch to cruise to a 2-0 sweep of the season series.
The Clippers had 41 assists on 48 made shots and shot 59.3 percent from the field and 50 percent (20 of 40) from 3-point range. Batum went 8 of 10 from beyond the arc and did not take a 2-point shot.