The Chicago Bulls have had several chances to get back in the win column during their longest losing streak of the season, but the young team has been unable to close out games.
The Bulls, who are trying to avoid losing six straight for the first time in more than two years, hope things go better on Wednesday when they visit the lowly Los Angeles Clippers.
Chicago (18-27) opened a seven-game road trip Sunday with a 109-108 overtime loss to Minnesota, its 13th defeat in 18 games.
Derrick Rose, who missed a 17-foot jumper at the end of regulation, had another chance to win it in the closing seconds of overtime. The 20-year-old point guard drove the lane and forced an off-balanced attempt that at least two Bulls had a chance to tip before the ball got knocked out of bounds.
Chicago led by 16 points early on Sunday and had a four-point lead with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, but again let it slip away. The Bulls have been unable to make key shots and stops lately, as they've had fourth-quarter leads four times during their five-game skid.
They have not lost six straight games since Nov. 14-24, 2006.
"It's frustrating," said second-year forward Joakim Noah, who had 14 points and a career-high seven blocked shots against the Timberwolves. "It's very frustrating to lose that way... especially games we are capable of winning."
It's not going to get much easier for a Chicago team that struggles on the road.
The Bulls, who won't return home until Feb. 10, have lost 10 of 12 away from the United Center and are 5-17 on the road this season.
Chicago has won two of its last three games over the Clippers (10-34) at Staples Center, though, after losing its previous five games there.
The Bulls beat Los Angeles 115-109 in overtime on Dec. 17, and have won two straight over the Clippers after dropping 13 of the previous 15 meetings.
Ben Gordon, who averages a team-high 20.0 points, led Chicago with 22 against Los Angeles last month, while Rose added 16 points and seven assists.
The Clippers are coming off Monday's 113-88 loss to Portland, their 16th defeat in 18 games.
Los Angeles trailed by four points at the start of the fourth quarter, but let the Trail Blazers score 15 of the first 18 points of the final period. The Clippers allowed Portland to shoot an opponent season-high 58.0 percent from the floor overall.
"Unfortunately, our guys just ran out of gas," said Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy, whose team is riddled by injuries.
The Clippers are without power forward Zach Randolph (knee), forward-center Marcus Camby (ankle), point guard Baron Davis (tailbone) and center Chris Kaman (foot). Randolph, Camby and Davis combined for 65 points, 39 rebounds and 20 assists in the meeting with Chicago last month.
Second-year forward Al Thornton has been leading the Clippers lately with most of the team's veterans out. He had a team-high 23 points on Monday, scoring at least 20 for the third time in four games. Thornton finished with 20 points last month against Chicago.