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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Rapid reaction: Bulls 87, Wizards 80

By Nick Friedell

WASHINGTON -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls squeaked out a 87-80 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night at the Verizon Center.

How it happened: Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer combined for 55 points, and the Bulls made enough defensive adjustments to frustrate the Wizards throughout the second half. The game was not pretty by any stretch, but Tom Thibodeau has to be pleased with the fact that his team is finding ways to win without Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Gibson (concussion) was cleared to play Wednesday night, but only ended up playing 31 seconds all night. The Bulls have enough talent on most nights to knock off mediocre teams. The Wizards aren't even mediocre ... they're bad.

What it means: Rose and Boozer are better than most any other player they play against on any given night. When that pair has it going, the Bulls are going to be able to hang around almost any team in the league. It's clear as they continue to play together that they are starting to become more comfortable with each other on the floor.

Stat of the night: The Wizards scored 33 points in the first quarter. They scored 47 combined in the final three.

What's next: The Bulls take a day off Thursday as they head to New York City to get ready to face the New York Knicks on Christmas Day. It will be interesting to see how Rose and his teammates perform on such a large stage, in front of a national TV audience, at Madison Square Garden.