Friday, March 2, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 112, Cavs 91
By Nick Friedell
CLEVELAND -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a blowout 112-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
How it happened: Luol Deng had his best game in weeks, scoring 24 points (15 in the first quarter), grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. Derrick Rose had another big night, going off for 19 points and nine assists while Carlos Boozer added 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulls played one of their most complete games of the year on both ends of the floor. Their defense was on-point most of the night and they did whatever they wanted to do on offense.
What it means: The Bulls did exactly what they were supposed to do in this one. The Cavs didn't have Kyrie Irving (ill) and the Bulls ran up and down the floor all night. Rose played the same way he's played all season, but it was Deng and Rip Hamilton who will probably make Tom Thibodeau smile more than anyone else. Deng found his offensive rhythm early and looked like the All-Star he became earlier in the year. After struggling to find his shot, Deng looked comfortable from the outset and it showed. As for Hamilton, he scored 10 points in 20 minutes and appears to be getting back into shape. That is good news for the Bulls considering they will need both to be healthy and playing well heading into the postseason.
Stat of the night: The Bulls shot 53 percent from the field.
Bold play of the game: Deng's first quarter -- He went 6-of-9 from the field and knocked down plenty of open jumpers. His performance set the tone for the rest of the team.
What's next: The Bulls go for their sixth win in a row against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. They'll be looking for payback considering that the 76ers already beat them once in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago.