Rapid Reaction: Bulls 86, Bobcats 81

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
9:39
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls squeaked out an 86-81 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Luol Deng led the Bulls with 21 points and eight rebounds as Tom Thibodeau's bunch won its fifth game in a row. Deng hit a huge 3-pointer with 26 seconds left that gave the Bulls enough of a cushion to survive this one. Jimmy Butler, playing through a right-toe injury, scored 14 points and had five rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 12 points and 17 rebounds.

What it means: This game was ugly. The good news for the Bulls is that they won. The bad news is that their offense was putrid most of the night. After playing so well over the weekend, the Bulls regressed offensively in this one. The most alarming sign for Thibodeau has to be the fact that Derrick Rose continues to struggle to find his groove. As a team, the Bulls had problems getting things going -- but Rose was just 4-for-13 from the field and is still having issues finding his shot. The positive for Rose is that he came through with two key buckets down the stretch that helped save the Bulls' night. As usual, Deng provided the type of stable presence that kept the Bulls afloat while the rest of the team struggled.

Hits: The reason the Bulls were able to pull this out is because they went 26-for-31 at the free throw line.

Misses: The Bulls shot just 36 percent from the field and turned the ball over 16 times.

Stat of the night: The Bulls scored two points in the final 6:35 of the second quarter. They were 1-for-10 during that stretch and turned the ball over four times, according to Bulls radio statistician Jeff Mangurten.

What's next: The Bulls take on the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night in the first of six consecutive games on the road.

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