- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: Carlos Boozer scored 14 points, pulled down 8 rebounds and dished out 6 assists as the Bulls picked up an impressive victory without Derrick Rose, who sat out the game because of a right hamstring injury. Luol Deng chipped in with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Joakim Noah added 18 points and nine rebounds. DeMar DeRozan tied a career high with 37 points for the Raptors.
What it means: The Bulls put forth their best defensive effort of the season. They locked the Raptors up throughout the night and imposed their will on Toronto early. The Bulls had plenty of experience playing without Rose last season, so they knew what to do. They played tough defensively and didn't allow the Raptors to get into any kind of rhythm. The game was physical, and the Bulls got open looks when they wanted to. With a rematch coming up Saturday against the Indiana Pacers, Tom Thibodeau has to be very pleased with the way his team played without its superstar.
Hits: Every Bulls starter scored in double figures.
Misses: The Raptors shot 25.6 percent from the field in the first half.
Stat of the night: The Raptors went 2-for-25 from outside the paint in the first half, according to Bulls radio statistician Jeff Mangurten.
What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Saturday night when they take on the Indiana Pacers at the United Center.