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Sunday, January 1, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 104, Grizzles 64

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how Chicago Bulls rolled to an easy 104-64 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night at the United Center.

How it happened: The Bulls were dominant from the opening tip. They didn't seem to miss a beat, despite the fact that Rip Hamilton sat out the game because of a strained groin. Carlos Boozer had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Derrick Rose chipped in 16. The game was over by halftime and gave the Bulls' starters a chance to get some much needed rest. This was by far the best defensive effort the Bulls have given all year.

What it means: The Bulls proved two things on Sunday night. First, they are probably the deepest team in the league. Even without Hamilton (and C.J. Watson, who injured his left elbow early in the fourth quarter), they crushed the Grizzlies. Every healthy player provided something -- even Brian Scalabrine, who had an assist, much to the fans' delight. Secondly, when the Bulls play the type of lockdown defense they played on Sunday night, they can beat almost any team in the league. Granted, the Grizzlies weren't at full strength, especially after Memphis forward Zach Randolph left in the first half with a right knee contusion, but the Bulls played the kind of defense they played last year. That fact will make Tom Thibodeau very happy.

Stats of the night: The Grizzlies shot 27 percent from the field in the first half. 30 percent for the game. The Bulls had 48 points in the paint compared to just 26 for the Grizzlies.

What's next: The Bulls face off against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. They'll be looking for their fourth win in a row.