The Chicago Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak by holding off the visiting LA Clippers 83-80 in a physical affair Thursday night.
Pau Gasol led the way on both ends of the floor, scoring a game-high 24 points and provided stellar defense.
Gasol broke out "must-win" in Game 20.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) December 11, 2015
Derrick Rose played without a facemask in the second half, finishing with 11 points.
Per the Chicago Tribune:
The reality? The Bulls coughed up all of a 16-point lead for the second time in four days before avoiding their first four-game losing streak in close to two years. And Rose, who said doctors cleared him to play without the mask earlier this week, merely forgot to wear it. […] “Play started and I forgot to put it on,” Rose said. “And I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to leave it on the side.’ Next game, I may have it on. I may have it off. It depends on how I’m feeling.”
The Bulls were feeling a little better after Chris Paul’s 3-point attempt over strong defense from Rose missed at the buzzer. But while the Bulls held the Clippers to an opponent-season-low 34.1 percent shooting and 18 points in the paint, there were enough nervous moments to give more pause.
Gasol, who finished with a game-high 24 points that featured three 3-pointers for the first time in his 15-year career, yelled at his teammates to “box him the (expletive) out” as the Bulls surrendered another offensive rebound.