LOS ANGELES — Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic — recently acquired this past Monday in the trade that sent Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons — made their Clippers’ debut Saturday in a 113-103 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Harris and Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points each to help the Clippers hand the Bulls their sixth straight loss
“It felt great. I’m obviously happy and was excited just to get out there with my new teammate,” Harris said about his first game as a Clipper. “It felt good just to go out and play, but obviously I will be more acclimated coming up. It’s tough to sleep at night sometimes with the time change, so when I’m able to fully get my eight to ten hours, I will be even more prepared and better. I felt good getting out there and just playing.”
He scored his first points in a Clipper uniform at 11:39 of the first quarter on a right wing thee-pointer. He added 4 rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Harris scored 20-plus points for the 21st time this season on Saturday.
“Tobias [Harris] and Danilo [Gallinari] were phenomenal tonight, and I’m just trying to figure out what you have with them two,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “Early on when we start the three guys, Danilo, Tobias and D.J. [DeAndre Jordan], they are going to have to put a three on one of them, and we took advantage of that by posting up Tobias, so you’re going to have a matchup that you can create every night. I thought the switching with that size was good.”
Bradley finished with 8 points and 4 assists in 32 minutes in his first game as a Clipper.
“I still need to get my legs under me, but I felt like it was a good start for us,” Bradley said. “We are still getting used to each other, but I feel like once we learn how to play off one another the sky is the limit for this team.”
Lou Williams continues to lead the NBA in points per game off the bench (22.2); he’s averaging 24.6 points and 6.8 assists over the last five games.
Zach LaVine finished with 21 points in a season-high 31 minutes for the Bulls.
“Call it what it is, but we’ve got to go out there and fight, we’ve got to do better, all of us included,” LaVine said about being short-handed. “We’re going to get those guys back, we’re going to be a full team, but we’re a competitive group with the guys we have, so we’ve got to be able to string some of these games out.”
“He’s still trying to find his rhythm,” Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said about LaVine’s play. “I think he’s turning down some pretty darn good looks and turning them into tough shots -tough, contested mid-range shots and that was an issue for us. Especially in the first half, we were settling for way too many mid-range shots. You’ve got to keep driving the ball, trying to get it into the paint, spread it out for open threes, or you get something at the rim. But as far as Zach [LaVine], he’s had stretches the last few games where I think he’s shown what he can do. Now it’s about getting his rhythm and timing and getting him to understand when we produce good shots, and he’s got to raise up and shoot those.”
The Clippers host the Dallas Mavericks Monday night.