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BULLS DUMP PISTONS


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- After a 109-94 letdown in Atlanta last Saturday, the Chicago Bulls went home to lick their wounds and reverted quickly back to their winning ways.

On a cold Monday night, before a near capacity crowd of 21,530 at the United Center, power forward Carlos Boozer conducted a jump-shooting clinic and scored 23 points to lead the Chicago Bulls past the nose diving Detroit Pistons, 92-68.

The 6-foot-9, 266-pound Boozer drilled 9-of-13 shots, which were mostly wide open and high-arcing field goals created by an aggressive Bulls offense that tirelessly attacked the basket. Boozer grabbed 8 rebounds, dished two assists, blocked a shot and sank 5-of-6 free throws.

Notorious for their timid starts, the Bulls hit pedal to metal early on this one.

Led by the fastbreaking Derrick Rose, the Bulls raced to a 17-8 lead at the 7:14 mark of the opening quarter. The Pistons clawed to within 23-21 early in the second quarter, but the Bulls dropped a 20-11 bomb to build a comfortable 43-32 cushion. Rose and company were never threatened seriously the rest of the way.

"I like the way we started on both ends," a very pleased Bulls head coach Thibodeau told reporters at the postgame press conference, "Our ball movement was really good. It got us into a rhythm, Carlos played terrific. And our bench came in and gave us a lift," he added.

Rose finished with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He struggled from beyond the arc, 1-for-6, but he went perfect at the free throw line, 5-of-5. Rose, the reigning MVP, issued 8 assists. And he had nothing but praise for the oft-maligned Boozer.

"It's petty tough when he's shooting like that," Rose said of Boozer. "My job is to get him the ball, read the play. Teams were soft blitzing like they were in the playoffs. When two come to me, it's open. He's wide open."

A strained groin again prevented Rip Hamilton from starting at the shooting guard slot, but Ronnie Brewer filled in beautifully, scoring 12 points and giving 4 assists in slightly over 27 minutes of action. Kyle Korver dialed two from long distance and finished with 12 points. But Luol Deng had an uncharacteristically slow night, chipping in a mere eight points along with 5 rebounds and two assists.

It wasn't exactly target practice for the Bulls, who shot 34 of 72 from the field and 3 of 16 from the arc. But their defense handcuffed Detroit to just 28-of-71 from the field and 1-of-4 from beyond arc. The Bulls also had more assists 18-14 and less turnovers 19-to 10.

Greg Monroe, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound behemoth at center led all Piston scorers with 14 points. Guard Brandon Knight, a 6-foot-3,189-lb guard with boundless energy, added 13 while Tayshaun Prince and ex-Bull Ben Gordon contributed 11 each.

Monday night's showdown was the first of three consecutive nigihts of playing for the Bulls. They head of Minnesota today before coming back to the United Center against the awful Washington Wizards.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Jaime David.


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