Carlos Boozer entered the NBA flush from team and individual success, a national championship and All-America honors at Duke in his rearview mirror.

Then he was drafted by the Cavaliers, who won 17 games in 2002-03 and 35 the next season with rookie LeBron James.

So this recent offensive funk Boozer found himself in before a breakout game Wednesday was about as bothersome as the lint the big man brushed off his suit lapel as he answered whether criticism gets to him.

"I got thick skin, bro," Boozer said.

Boozer has two postgame personalities, both positive. Regardless of personal performance, he is upbeat and complimentary after victories and accommodating and philosophical after losses.

It wasn't always this way.

"When I first came out of college, the losing really messed with me," Boozer said. "I wasn't used to it. High school, two championships. College championship. I went to Cleveland and we played hard, but we just weren't very good. So I was real emotional, highs and lows.

"But I had a great coach in John Lucas who taught me: 'This is the NBA. You're not going to win every game. You're playing against elite competition.' He did a great job of helping me calm down."

Boozer's 28-point, 14-rebound performance Wednesday in the Bulls' overtime victory against the Suns followed a five-game stretch in which he averaged just 8.4 points. Saturday against the Timberwolves, Boozer failed to record a field goal for the first time since he teamed with James in Cleveland in November 2003.