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Bulls come up smelling like a Rose, Beat the Hornets at home 99-95
Even with Rip Hamilton back in the Bulls lineup, It was Derrick Rose that rallied the team and beat the New Orleans Hornets 99-95.
After the All-Star break, the Bulls looked flat. “Defensively, I don’t think we did as well as we wanted to,” said Joakim Noah. “It just shows the resilience of this team. Down four with a minute to go (1:26), you’ve just got to find a way. Just because we’re the Chicago Bulls doesn’t mean we’re going to win every game by 30. We know we have a ways to go. We have to play better to get to where we want to go.”
Noah was outstanding with 15 points and 16 rebounds coming off his triple double before the All-Star break.
A tale of two teams going in different directions
It was a win, but a sputtering effort against an 8-26 Hornets team — which really has played better of late, really — as the Bulls’ bench mob was poor, blowing a double digit first quarter lead, and then again a fourth quarter double digit lead. That was before last year’s MVP Rose, with 32 points and nine assists, and Noah made big offensive plays in the last minute. Taj Gibson had one of his five blocks and the defense finally held for more than a minute.
“I thought we played well in the first quarter and then got loose and hung on in the end,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. “You’ve got to find different ways to win. The good thing is to have the resolve and not pack it in. That part is encouraging. Preparing for (Wednesday) we know we have to play a lot better down there.”
The 2011-12 Bulls are 28-8, and second place in the NBA with wins, but they certainly did not look dominant, impressive or even aggressive until the end of this game. The Bulls need to get the momentum going again as some difficult games loom on the horizon.
That first challenge would be in San Antonio, where the Spurs open their second half at home as the league’s hottest team with 12 wins in their last 13. And they basically threw away the one they lost by resting Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.
2011-2012 Pre Season
Photos by Mark Rotor
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