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NBA -- Bulls weather Thunder in OKC


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- ​Despite an up and down season marred by inconsistent play and injuries, the Chicago Bulls had plenty to cheer on Christmas Day.

Jimmy Butler swished 23 points while Pau Gasol, ​a steady force in this trying season, served up 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls stunned the OKC Thunder, 105-96, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Entering the contest on the heels of a three-game losing streak, the Bulls demonstrated the effort that was lacking in previous outings. They outrebounded the Thunder 53-48 and produced 22 assists.

Derrick Rose made only 7-of-18 shots but the former MVP managed 19 points while Taj Gibson pitched in 13 points and 10 rebounds as Chicago improved to 16-11, second behind the 19-8 Cleveland Cavaliers in the Central Division.

"I think we did a really good job of making sure we closed out to 3-point shooters. We trusted the game plan. We know K.D. is a great 3-point shooter, Morrow and Westbrook when his feet are set, and you just can't let them get hot. Everybody else on the team, we forced them to make shots and make plays," Rose told NBA.com.

​Kevin Durant finished with a game-high 29 points and his sidekick Russell Westbrook came in with 26 points and eight assists, but the Thunder, who saw their 8-game home winning streak broken, made only 37 of 96 field goals (38.5 percent) and 6-of-24 from long distance (25 percent).​

Despite the loss, the 20-10 Thunder remained on top of the Northwest Division and third overall in the Western Conference.

Photo: Taj Gibson scored 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Bulls derail the OKC Thunder, 105-96, on Christmas Day.​


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Anthony Rozic.


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