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Friday, December 10, 2010
Rapid reaction: Bulls 88, Lakers 84

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Bulls roared back to knock off the Lakers 88-84 on Friday at the United Center.

How it happened: It's a broken record at this point, but yet again Derrick Rose brought the Bulls back and locked the game up. The 22-year-old All-Star hit several crucial shots down the stretch as the Bulls rallied to beat the Lakers. Rose has no hesitation in clutch situations, and clearly is enjoying the moment and the responsibility that comes with being the face of the franchise. Luol Deng added 14 points, while Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver played well off the bench, combining for 23 points.

What it means: Let there be no doubt about what makes the Bulls go -- not that there was any already. Rose has lifted his game to a level few players in the league are able to get to. He has the ability to carry the Bulls on his back and lead them. One of the bigger knocks on the Bulls this season is that they don't have many wins over quality opponents -- now they have one against the defending champs. This victory should give the team confidence heading into a much easier portion of its schedule.

Stat of the night: Rose had 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds.

What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Saturday night when the Timberwolves come to town. It will be interesting to see how much energy the Bulls have left in the tank after expending so much against the Lakers. Will they be mentally ready to face an inferior team that they should beat?