Rapid Reaction: Bulls 97, Hornets 88

February, 12, 2011
2/12/11
9:46
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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NEW ORLEANS -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls upended the New Orleans Hornets 97-88 on Saturday night at New Orleans Arena.

How it happened: Derrick Rose had another big night scoring 23 points as the Bulls ramped up their defensive pressure in the second half and seemed to break the Hornets' will. The Bulls' bench played quality minutes. Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson combined for 16 points and Omer Asik added 11 rebounds. Even Keith Bogans chipped in with 11 points of his own. From a team-wide standpoint, it was one of the Bulls most complete victories of the year.

What it means: Not that the Bulls' players didn't know this before, but they realize more and more every night that they can shut teams down every night defensively. After giving up 53 points in the first half, Tom Thibodeau's team locked down the Hornets and frustrated them throughout the rest of the game. When the Bulls play defense in the second half the way they did on Saturday night, they have the ability to beat any team in the league.

Stats of the night: The Hornets scored just 35 points in the second half. The Bulls outscored the Hornets 36-20 in the paint.

What's next: The Bulls have a day off before hitting the practice floor on Monday. Given the momentum they've built over the last two games on this trip, it will be interesting to see how they respond on Tuesday night at home against 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