LOS ANGELES // While Derrick Rose headed home to Chicago for knee surgery, the Bulls began life without their superstar guard again.
The Los Angeles Clippers showed them just how ugly that life could be.
Jared Dudley scored a season-high 21 points, Chris Paul added 16 points and 17 assists, and the Clippers jumped all over the Bulls in Rose’s absence for a 121-82 victory Sunday.
JJ Redick scored 19 points and Blake Griffin had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the Pacific Division-leading Clippers’ seventh win in nine games.
This was no ordinary blowout, either: The Clippers’ 39-point margin of victory was the largest in franchise history.
The Clippers figured Rose’s latest injury was weighing on the Bulls’ minds. Los Angeles led for all but the first two minutes, and even the reserves surged ahead by 42 points in the fourth quarter.
“We jumped on them so quickly that I thought it had to have had a mental effect,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “You don’t lose a D Rose. ... We came out and played unbelievable, and I just thought the mental part of that had to be difficult. Very few teams could have fought through that.”
Luol Deng scored 22 points as the Bulls flopped in their first game since Rose tore cartilage in his right knee Friday night in Portland.
Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy scored 14 points apiece, but the Bulls couldn’t keep up defensively with the Clippers – and the Chicago reserves fell apart while getting outscored 25-9 in the fourth quarter.
“It’s tough for all of us with Derrick being out like this,” said Joakim Noah, who had eight points. “We’re just hoping for the best with him, and see how it goes. Derrick is a big part of this team. I know how hard he rehabbed this whole time to be on the court.”
Kirk Hinrich had nine points and seven assists while starting in place of Rose, who missed last season after tearing a ligament in his left knee. Rose played in just 10 games before getting hurt again, but the Bulls are hoping he won’t be out as long this time.
“We’ve done it before,” Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said, noting Rose has missed much of the past two seasons since his 2011 MVP campaign.
“This is year No 3 now, so we’ve got experience doing it,” he added. “But we’ve got to get the fight. That’s the first part of it – the determination, the fight and the will. The core of the team in there is the same core we had last year.”
While Chicago floundered, Los Angeles finished strong in a stretch of four games in five days, surpassing a pair of 37-point wins by the Buffalo Braves during the late 1970s for the biggest margin of victory in franchise history.
The Clippers played back-to-back afternoon home games this weekend, an occasional hazard of sharing a building with the Lakers and the NHL’s Kings. But a day after blowing a 20-point lead in a victory over Sacramento, the Clippers showed little fatigue from their packed schedule – and the starters got the fourth quarter off as a reward.
“It’s the best game this season, we got the opportunity to sit all quarter,” Paul said. “That’s huge for our team. This was our fourth game in five nights. We could have come in with a lot of excuses, but we did what we were supposed to do.”
OTHER SUNDAY RESULTS
Thunder 95, Jazz 73
Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Utah Jazz.
Kevin Durant added 19 points on 3-of-9 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. For the Thunder (9-4).
The Jazz (1-14) were on pace to set a season low in points until guard Alec Burks hit a free throw with 8.9 seconds left in the game to match the 73 points it scored November 8 against Chicago.
Suns 104, Magic 96
Slovenian Goran Dragic had 23 points and 13 assists, leading the fast-breaking Phoenix Suns to a victory over the Orlando Magic.
The Suns (7-6) got 20 points from guard Gerald Green, who started in place of Eric Bledsoe, and 16 points from reserve forward Marcus Morris.
The Magic (4-9) were led by center Nikola Vucevic with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Andrew Nicholson added 19 points.
Pistons 109, Nets 97
Another second-half meltdown from the Brooklyn Nets sealed their fifth straight loss.
A second quarter that helped the Nets build a lead as large as 10 was quickly overshadowed as Brooklyn (3-10) was outscored 34-15 in the third.
Rodney Stuckey helped seal the Pistons (5-8) win, scoring 17 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter.
Nets guard Joe Johnson led all scorers with 34 points on 11-of-15 shooting but Brooklyn played without injured players Andrei Kirilenko, Brook Lopez, Deron Williams and Jason Terry.
Lakers 100, Kings 86
Xavier Henry had 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting and Pau Gasol contributed 20 with 10 rebounds as Los Angeles (7-7) cruised past Sacramento (4-9).
Big man Jordan Hill added a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, while Jodie Meeks shot 6-of-10 to add 14 points.
Greivis Vasquez led the Kings with 2- points on 9-of-18 shooting while DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.