- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: Playing without Luol Deng (wrist) and Taj Gibson (ankle), the Bulls still easily rolled past the Nets. Rip Hamilton had 22 points and 10 assists, while Derrick Rose scored 22 points and dished out eight assists. Joakim Noah had one of his best games of the season, scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
What it means: Even when two of their most important players are not on the floor, the Bulls have enough talent to beat teams on most nights. Rose played very well in his first game back in a week. He wasn't as explosive as usual, but he still made plays when the Bulls needed one. Hamilton continues to show that when he is in the lineup, he can be a difference maker. He is a terrific passer and he obviously enjoys being on the floor with Rose. Fans will surely wonder why he played 42 minutes on the night, though. Same goes for Rose who played 36 minutes.
Stat of the night: The Bulls had 33 assists.
What's next: The Bulls go for their fifth win in a row on Wednesday night against the Indiana Pacers at the United Center.
Rapid Reaction: Derrick Rose and Rip Hamilton helped the Bulls beat the Nets.