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Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 104, Bucks 88

By Nick Friedell



MILWAUKEE -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 104-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center:

How it happened: Jimmy Butler had another solid game, scoring 18 points and pulling down six rebounds as the Bulls picked up their fifth win in six games. Nate Robinson set an early tone for Tom Thibodeau's squad, scoring 16 of his 24 points in the first half and providing the energy the Bulls needed. Taj Gibson played one of his best games of the season in place of Carlos Boozer, who sat out because of a hamstring injury. Gibson had 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

What it means: The continued solid performances off the bench of Butler and Robinson are a great sign for Thibodeau, but what has to make him the happiest is Gibson's performance. The fourth-year forward has struggled all season to find a rhythm after signing a lucrative extension on opening night, but he stepped up big against the Bucks by being active on the floor. If Gibson continues to play this way throughout the season, the Bulls' bench gains another weapon that it has been lacking -- a consistent big man to come in and produce.

Hits: Joakim Noah had 12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

Misses: Luol Deng was just 6-for-18 from the field, but he did pull down 13 rebounds and dish out five assists.

Stat of the night: The Bulls outscored the Bucks 66-40 in the paint.

What's next: The Bulls take on the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.