Rapid Reaction: Spurs 103, Bulls 94

November, 17, 2010
11/17/10
11:22
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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SAN ANTONIO -- Let's take a quick look at how the San Antonio Spurs sped past the Chicago Bulls 103-94 on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center:

How it happened: After a solid first half in which they shut down the Spurs at times, the Bulls got annihilated in the third quarter and never recovered. The Bulls' defense lacked energy, and they had no answer when San Antonio ramped up its own defensive pressure. The offense looked stagnant and the ball movement was not as crisp as it had been earlier in the game. Had it not been for a late flurry by Derrick Rose for the second night in a row, the score could have looked a lot worse.

What it means: Yes, the Bulls were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but don't let that fool you. The Spurs whipped them in the third quarter, and they couldn't recover. The biggest issue continues to be the Bulls' lack of a consistent offensive threats besides Rose, and to a lesser extent, Joakim Noah. Luol Deng and Taj Gibson combined to go 6 for 24 from the floor and could not provide the answer the Bulls were desperate for during the third-quarter implosion. The Bulls desperately needed Carlos Boozer on a night like this to provide a stabilizing force. Too bad for them that his return is still at least a couple weeks away.

Stat of the night: With 2:53 remaining in the second quarter, the Bulls led 45-30. From that point until the end of the third quarter, the Spurs outscored the Bulls 46-14. The Spurs scored as many points in the third quarter as they did in the entire first half -- 37.

What's next: The Bulls continue the Texas portion of the circus trip as they head to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Friday night. After such a demoralizing performance in the second half Wednesday night, it will be important for the Bulls to respond early against Dirk Nowitzki and Co.

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
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
20.2 3.2 1.7 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.8
AssistsD. Rose 5.0
StealsJ. Butler 1.7
BlocksP. Gasol 1.9