Bulls (4-2) 104
Thunder (3-3) 98
The Bulls needed this win after the horrid 130-105 blowout to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night, but it was a little scary at first. Chicago began the game playing defense reminiscent of Tuesday night and the Thunder jumped out to a quick 17-8 lead. However, the Bulls regrouped and chipped away at the lead, going on a 14-4 run of their own over 4 minutes in the latter part of the quarter and ended it only down 28-25. Joakim Noah was active with 3 offensive rebounds, while Jimmy Butler led the Bulls in scoring with 7 points. The Thunder cooled off a bit from the field during the quarter, finishing it shooting 52 percent (down from close to 70) and led by Russell Westbrook with 10 points.
The 2nd quarter belonged to Chicago. They took the lead 31-30 early in the period and never relinquished it, leading by as many as 9 points and going into the half up 57-50, outscoring the Thunder 32-22 in the 2nd quarter alone. Jimmy Butler, who was all over the floor in the 1st half, had 14 points in the quarter and Derrick Rose added 8 points. Rose struggled from the field the entire half (4 for 12), but he was aggressive with most of his shots coming at or around the rim. After 24 minutes the Bulls were shooting 44 percent to the Thunder’s 47, and were 5 for 10 from behind the arch. The Bulls were also a plus-6 from the line, plus-8 on the boards, and plus-8 in bench scoring. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 21 points, Rose added 11, and Westbrook and Durant led the Thunder with 14 and 12.
The Thunder outscored the Bulls 23-19 in the 3rd quarter but the Bulls still led 76-73 going into the 4th. Chicago built their lead to 10 points, but the Thunder answered with a late rally to tie the game at 92. The game was deadlocked at 94 late in the 4th and looked to be headed down to the wire before the Bulls ended the game on a 10-4 run to win it 104-98, handing Oklahoma City their third loss of the season.
Jimmy Butler was fantastic tonight for Chicago, guarding Kevin Durant and scoring 26 points, but the story was Derrick Rose who, after scoring in single digits each of the last 3 games, finished with 29 points on 10 for 23 shooting. He had 18 in the 2nd half, 12 in the 4th quarter, and Chicago’s final 10 points. In all Rose and Butler combined for 55 points, outscoring Westbrook and Durant who combined for 53. Westbrook came close to a triple double, finishing with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists. The Bulls also out rebounded the Thunder (Gasol had 10 and Noah added 7) and did a better job of taking care of the ball, only turning it over 6 times, by far their lowest total of the season. All in all, it was an impressive win for Chicago over one of the NBA’s elite teams.
Up next for Chicago its at home against the Timberwolves on Saturday and the Thunder are home against Phoenix on Sunday.
Derrick Rose: 29 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists
Jimmy Butler: 26 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Pau Gasol: 11 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists
Kevin Durant: 33 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
Russell Westbrook: 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists
Serge Ibaka: 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist
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