Bulls start circus trip vs. Clippers

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls will be away from home for a while and it starts with Monday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.

The Bulls will play seven in a row on the road, where they are 5-0 this season. This is the annual circus road trip, and with that kind of record, the Bulls are looking forward to time away.

"I think it's going to be fun," said Bulls guard Jimmy Butler about the upcoming sojourn. "We get to spend a lot of time around each other. Who doesn't like to play on the road?"

Chicago last started 6-0 as the guest back in 1996-97, when it went 30-11 outside the Windy City.

The Bulls are coming off Saturday's 99-90 loss to the Indiana Pacers and Butler's career-high 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting weren't enough. Kirk Hinrich and Pau Gasol scored 15 and 12 points, respectively, in defeat.

"I think we were low energy on offense and defense," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Derrick Rose missed the game with a hamstring problem and is questionable against the Clippers.

The Clippers have alternated results over the last seven games and registered a 120-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday behind Chris Paul's 32 points on 10-of-13 shots and nine assists. Paul has handed out 81 assists compared to just 12 turnovers in his first eight games.

Blake Griffin had 19 points, Spencer Hawes and J.J. Redick posted 14 apiece and both Matt Barnes and DeAndre Jordan chipped in 12. Jordan had 18 rebounds and seven blocks for Los Angeles, which shot 52.9 percent. The Clippers, though, had 21 turnovers, leading to 30 Phoenix points.

LA had a 42-20 advantage in the third quarter.

"I thought the third quarter was great," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

After hosting the Bulls, Rivers' team will hit the road for seven games.

Los Angeles defeated Chicago twice last season and has won four in a row and seven of the previous nine contests in this series. The Bulls have lost two straight at the Clippers.