Rapid Reaction: Bulls 93, Jazz 89

February, 9, 2013
2/09/13
12:23
AM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
SALT LAKE CITY -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned an impressive 93-89 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night at Energy Solutions Arena.

How it happened: After struggling to find a rhythm throughout the game, Carlos Boozer scored 11 straight in the fourth quarter and finished with 19 points as the Bulls grinded out a win they wanted badly. Nate Robinson added 18 points and nine assists and played 46 minutes on the night. Al Jefferson had a huge night for the Jazz, scoring 32 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, but it wasn't enough in the end.

What it means: The Bulls' biggest problem over their previous two losses to the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets was that the defense took a major step back. But in this game, the defense got back on track in the second half and Boozer made plays when he had to late. He will savor this win given his history with the Jazz and he deserves credit for coming through down the stretch.

Meanwhile, a lingering issue for the Bulls is the health of Joakim Noah. Yes, he had 12 points and 11 rebounds but he still does not look like himself on the floor. The plantar fasciitis in his right foot is a problem that looms over the rest of the Bulls' season. If he can shake off the rust and the foot injury the Bulls will be in good shape -- but they should watch the issue very closely.

Hits: Taj Gibson had a solid night off the bench, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Misses: Luol Deng and Boozer were a combined 12-for-29 from the field.
Stat of the night: The Bulls were 16-for-18 from the free throw line and made several huge freebies in the final moments.

What's next: The Bulls head home to face the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5