DeAndre Jordan/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
Every time you turn around, DeAndre Jordan is having another fine game. The 6-foot-11 post who again was not selected to the Western Conference All-Star team, on Sunday scored only nine points but he pulled down a whopping 26 rebounds, blocked two shots and made two steals in the Clippers’ 96-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls at United Center in Chicago.
Not only that, Jordan played solid defense on Chicago’s Pau Gasol, who was reportedly sick and made just 2 of 13 from the field for four points; he averages 18.4 points. Gasol did have 15 rebounds and four assists, so he apparently wasn’t too sick to rebound and pass well.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers applauded yet another in a long line of games Jordan has dominated with his rebounding and defense. Jordan averaged 17.2 rebounds in the month of February and had five games with at least 20 rebounds with a high of 27 on on Feb. 9 in a win at Dallas.
“Our defense was good all day,” Rivers said. “DJ was great. When you have a big who can guard another big one on one and you don’t have to double team, it takes other things they can do away because there is no double team. DJ was huge on Gasol all day.”
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau gave credit to Jordan, but not without telling everyone how under the weather Gasol was during the game.
“I want to give Pau a lot of credit,” Thibodeau said. “Pau is sick, very sick. He knows we are shorthanded and he got out there and gave us everything he had. DeAndre Jordan has had an unbelievable year and an incredible run, particularly with Blake Griffin being out for them. He is playing at an unbelievable high level. When you look at their team and scoring margin, it tells you how good they are.”
Blake Griffin (elbow) missed his ninth consecutive game, but the Clippers (39-21) have won six of them. Five of them have come against playoff-bound teams.
This game was tied 69-69 after three quarters.
Chicago is now 37-23 and in third place in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Clippers began the day in sixth in the Western Conference, but leapfrogged Dallas into fifth place, a half-game ahead of the now-sixth Mavericks and a game behind fourth-place Portland (39-19).
Chris Paul led the Clippers in scoring with 28 points; he also had 12 assists. Jamal Crawford scored 16 and Spencer Hawes had 14 points and nine rebounds. J.J. Redick had 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulls were without point guard Derrick Rose (knee) and power forward Taj Gibson (ankle).