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Bulls at home tonight against the L.A. Clippers

If the Los Angeles Clippers hope to hold onto the
Western Conference's final playoff spot, they will have to play
well enough down the stretch to stave off the teams that remain hot
on their tail.
The Clippers enter tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls having
lost two straight games and seven of their past 10 as the regular
season winds down. Although the Bulls have long been out of
postseason contention as they focus on evaluating and developing
young players for the future, Chicago isn't conceding anything as
it plays out the string.
For the Clippers (36-29), that means continuing to play as well on
the road beginning Tuesday at the United Center as they did when
they won four of six on their recent homestand.
"Tough games, every game," Clippers coach Doc Rivers told the Los
Angeles Times after a victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday.
"We've just got to keep our focus. We've got the one game at a time
mantra, which we've kept all year."
As much as the Bulls have struggled this season as they begin a
multiyear rebuilding effort, the Clippers -- who will also face the
Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder on back-to-back nights
later this week -- can't afford to overlook its first stop of its
three-game road swing in Chicago.
With 17 regular-season games left and with virtually no room for
serious error to remain in playoff contention, the Clippers
understand the importance of building off the momentum they have
established in their past 10 games.
"We've got a tough stretch coming up," Clippers guard Lou Williams
told the Times. "So to go on the road with a couple of wins under
our belt, it feels good."
Chicago (23-43) has dropped seven of its past 10 games but is
coming off a come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Hawks on
Saturday. Establishing consistency and cohesiveness has not been
easy for the Bulls since the All-Star break when team executives
committed to spending the remainder of the regular season
experimenting with a variety of combinations to go along with
Chicago's young core of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and rookie Lauri
The youth movement hasn't produced much success and hasn't allowed
players like Dunn to establish a rhythm as the talent around him is
constantly changing.
"It's tough -- you can't get by it," Dunn told reporters recently,
according to the Chicago Tribune. "But we're all men -- just play
basketball. That's our job. (You) don't try to get too involved
with the other stuff that's going on. I just try to have positive
energy and try to bring it every day. That's the only thing I can
That has been the mindset the Bulls have been forced to take on as
their struggles have continued throughout the season. And while
there's not much Dunn and his teammates can do about their
circumstances, coach Fred Hoiberg still expects his players to
remain as competitive as possible.
"It doesn't matter who's on the floor. You have to play with great
effort and hopefully unselfishness," Hoiberg told the Tribune. "It
is good for those (core) guys to have to figure it out. Those three
guys are young players still trying to find their way. ... A big
part of this is who is going to emerge as leaders."

Tonight's game can be heard on Good Time Oldies 1060 with the Pre-Game Show at 6:45.


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