Rapid Reaction: Bulls 81, Bucks 72

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
10:02
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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MILWAUKEE -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned an 81-72 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

How it happened: Playing for the first time in a week (sore knee), Carlos Boozer had a big night for the Bulls, going off for 19 points and 13 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy added 18 points as the Bulls did just enough to sneak out with a win. Luke Ridnour led the Bucks with 14 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds, but it wasn't sufficient, as the Bulls made just enough plays down the stretch.

What it means: A win is a win for Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls at this point. This was a very sloppy game, with the Bulls playing down to their competition most of the night. The key for Thibodeau's team was it never stopped playing hard in the waning minutes and found ways to close this one down. Boozer's offense gave the Bulls enough of a base to finish things off.

Hits: Joakim Noah had another solid night for the Bulls, scoring 8 points, pulling down 10 rebounds and totaling 7 assists.

Misses: Bulls point guards Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin combined to go 4-for-17 from the field.

Stat of the night: free throws. The Bulls were 27-for-39, and the Bucks were 9-for-12.

What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Saturday night when they take on the Charlotte Bobcats.

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