We’ve seen this movie before: A short-handed team, facing adversity, is tasked with playing a supposed juggernaut and put together an inspired, team-oriented contest, coming out with the win in the end — which is exactly what happened Thursday night, as the Bulls (8-9) completely dominated the Heat (14-5) from start to finish, winning a 107-87 affair at the United Center in their best game since Derrick Rose’s season-ending injury. Two LeBron James (21 points, five rebounds) transition baskets weren’t the ideal way to begin the contest for the Bulls, but they quickly elevated their level of intensity behind the energy and rebounding of All-Star center Joakim Noah (17 points, 15 rebounds), out to his best start since Derrick Rose’s season-ending injury, and the unexpected offensive firepower of veteran floor general Kirk Hinrich (13 points, seven assists). Getting contributions from a variety of sources, including an aggressive Carlos Boozer (game-high 27 points, nine rebounds), another player who had been struggling of late, the Bulls were able to build a slim edge and after a three-pointer from All-Star small forward Luol Deng (20 points, five rebounds, five assists) in the waning seconds of the opening period, they held a 29-20 advantage through a quarter of play. Taj Gibson (19 points, six rebounds), the Bulls’ top reserve, made an impact at the outset of the second frame, as has been his habit this season, helping to build a comfortable double-digit lead. As a whole, the Bulls’ second unit fared well, extending the team’s advantage, while the regulars rested and even the likes of embattled second-year point guard Marquis Teague, only two days removed from being assigned and recalled from the D-League, played solid.
Bulls rally around frontcourt to take down the Heat
CSN Chicago | Dec 6