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Saturday, December 28, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 105, Bulls 83

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Dallas Mavericks earned a 105-83 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Monta Ellis scored 22 points and dished out five assists while Vince Carter chipped in with 18 points off the bench as the Mavs cruised to a victory. Joakim Noah had a nice effort with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the Bulls struggled to keep pace all night.

What it means: The Bulls appeared to be moving forward after victories in their previous two games, but Saturday night served as a reality check. Chicago continues to have problems scoring and controlling the pace, but against quality opponents the margin of error is so small that if an opponent goes on a run -- as the Mavs did in the first half -- the Bulls have little chance to get back in the game. In order to avoid more games like this, coach Tom Thibodeau must find a way to create more offense for a team that has struggled to score, even when Derrick Rose was healthy.

Hits: Taj Gibson and D.J. Augustin combined for 24 points off the Bulls bench.

Misses: Rookie Tony Snell was 0-for-8 from the field.

Stats of the night: The Bulls and Mavs combined for 34 turnovers. The Mavs shot 52.6 percent from the field and 13-for-26 from beyond the arc.

What's next: The Bulls visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.