Rapid Reaction: Bulls 94, Nuggets 89

October, 25, 2013
10/25/13
9:41
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 94-89 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Luol Deng had 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Bulls finished the preseason with an 8-0 record. Carlos Boozer added 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Derrick Rose chipped in with 15 points and eight assists.

What it means: The Bulls stunk in the first half of this game, but they made up for it by playing better defense in the third quarter and making plays down the stretch. Ever the taskmaster, Tom Thibodeau has to be pleased with the way his team closed out this preseason. The Bulls played hard and won all their games -- now they have to focus on getting Joakim Noah (groin) and Kirk Hinrich (shoulder) healthy. Chicago believes it can win a championship this season, but the team must find a way to stay healthy in order to do it. It will be up to Thibodeau to find a balance between pushing and resting his players throughout the season.

Hits: Taj Gibson capped off the best preseason campaign of his career, scoring 10 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists.

Misses: Both teams combined to go 1-for-27 from beyond the arc.

Stat of the night: The Bulls scored as many points in the third quarter (36) as they did in the entire first half (36).

What's next: The Bulls open up the regular season Tuesday night against the Miami Heat.

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