It was not a rousing debut for Rip Hamilton.

The Bulls' newly acquired two-guard drew the defensive assignment on Kobe Bryant, which is something he has done since he and Bryant were both playing high school basketball against each other in Pennsylvania. This time, Hamilton picked up two early fouls and spent much of the first half on the bench.

Hamilton finished with six points in just over 23 minutes.

''The two early fouls really hurt him,'' Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. ''He got a tough whistle but sometimes that's part of the game, too, and you have to deal with that. I don't think it affected him in a negative way. He has been through it. He knows. He tried to help in any way he could. Even when he's not scoring he's helping us because he moves without the ball so he can create easy offense for us. The game was a rather physical game and I don't think he got the benefit of the whistle but sometimes that's the way it is. Ronnie [Brewer] came in and did a great job.''

Derrick Rose is confident Hamilton will bounce back.

''He got in foul trouble,'' he said. ''It put him out of sync. Next game, he could have 30 or 40 points. We're not worried.''

Standing around

The Bulls were at their best in the first half, when they were sharing the ball and getting easy shots. They were at their worst in the second when they were settling for jump shots and turning the ball over.