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Saturday, November 27, 2010
Rapid reaction: Bulls 96, Kings 85

By Nick Friedell

SACRAMENTO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Bulls gutted out another hard-fought 96-85 win on Saturday night at Arco Arena.

How it happened: Playing in their fourth game in five nights, the Bulls looked sluggish throughout the first half, but yet again they managed to find another gear down the stretch to secure their first winning "Circus Trip" (4-3) since 1998. After missing Friday night's game in Denver because of a sore neck, Derrick Rose came back to the lineup and played extremely well, hitting several big shots down the stretch and scoring 30 points. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah had big nights as well, with Noah providing his usual emotional jolt for his teammates.

What it means: The Bulls have heart. That's the biggest thing you can take away from this game -- and from the road trip. The Bulls were in every game and managed to sneak out this win despite the fact they were running on fumes. Tom Thibodeau has instilled a belief in his team that it can win on any given night, no matter who is playing and no matter what obstacles they face. Saturday night's win proves yet again just how much the Bulls are buying into Thibodeau's system, especially after the heartbreaking defeat they endured in Denver.

Stat of the night: Derrick Rose was 10-for-23 from the floor for 30 points in 42 minutes of action. A stat which is even more impressive considering he wasn't sure if he would play on Saturday because of continued issues with a stiff neck.

What's next: The Bulls take a much needed day off Sunday before returning to the Berto Center Monday for practice. It will be the most anticipated practice of the early season considering Carlos Boozer is expected to participate without any restrictions for the first time in almost two months. The Bulls next game is Wednesday at the United Center against the Orlando Magic.