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.
J.J. 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.”
Lakers 100, Kings 86
In Los Angeles, reserve forward Xavier Henry scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and Pau Gasol had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Steve Blake finished with 12 assists, nine points and five rebounds. Blake, who has started all 14 games for the Lakers at point guard in place of the injured Steve Nash, has recorded double digits in assists in each of the last five.
Thunder 95, Jazz 73
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 19 points and Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 11 rebounds to help the Thunder extend their best season-opening start at home with a win over struggling Utah.
The Thunder (9-3) played without All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, who sat out to rest his surgically repaired right knee.
Pistons 109, Nets 97
In New York, reserve Rodney Stuckey scored a season-high 27 points as Detroit sent Brooklyn to a fifth straight loss and sole possession of last place in the Atlantic Division.
The Nets, with their enormous payroll and enormous expectations, fell to 3-10, a half-game behind the New York Knicks, and were hearing boos at Barclays Center in the second half.
Suns 104, Magic 96
In Orlando, Goran Dragic scored 23 points and Gerald Green added 20.
Two days after stopping a four-game losing streak at Charlotte, the Suns took the lead early in the first quarter and never relinquished it.