Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Bulls set franchise record for points allowed
By Nick Friedell
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Chicago Bulls set a franchise record low for points allowed in a regular season game during Monday night's 85-59 win over the Orlando Magic.
John Lucas III sparked the Bulls again with 20 points in 21 minutes against the Magic.
Their previous low came in 1997 when they gave up just 62 points in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. As usual, Tom Thibodeau and his players didn’t make a big deal of the accomplishment.
"I'm just happy with the win," Thibodeau said. "I thought our guys came out, played well. We had a lot of guys step up. I thought [John] Lucas was terrific. Carlos [Boozer] was great. Our big guys had a tough job with Dwight [Howard]; I thought [Joakim] Noah] battled, Omer [Asik] battled. I thought Taj [Gibson] in limited minutes rebounded the ball great. We had a lot of guys step up and play well ... we got a deep team and everybody stepped up."
Boozer, who had a team-high 24 points, was really happy with the way his team performed against the Magic, a team that beat the Bulls just a couple weeks ago in Chicago.
"It was just great defensive effort," Boozer said. "[The Magic] are one of those explosive teams that can run off four, five, six threes in a row and get right back in the game. So at halftime, even though we had a little bit of a cushion, we talked about that. I thought we did a good job of putting a hand in their face on the three point shots, on the three point shooters, and then go get the rebound, especially Dwight, so great defensive effort."
Playing without Derrick Rose (groin) for the fourth consecutive game, the Bulls held the Magic to just 35 percent shooting from the floor, a figure that disgusted Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy.
"Our offense was pathetic," Van Gundy said. "And that's something that I have got to take a look at because we've got better players than that. It's really two games in a row now where we've been very bad offensively. Some of the turnover stuff guys have got to take the responsibility for on their own. But I've got to take responsibility for getting us better shots than we're getting right now ... we just weren't very good at either end of the court."
Howard felt the same way.
"That's it, they played harder than us," Howard said of the Bulls. "One through 15, whoever stepped on the floor just played harder than us."
Noah, who spent much of the night trying to contain Howard, tried to keep everything in perspective. He liked the way his team played, but he doesn't want the Bulls to get overconfident.
"It's one game at the end of the day," Noah said. "But we felt like it was probably one of our best defensive efforts of the year. We just got to keep it up, keep learning from what we're doing well, what we can do better, stay humble, stay driven and hopefully get the good thing at the end."
Magic forward Glen Davis had an interesting outlook on the night.
"See, we went out to Chicago and we beat them with Derrick Rose," Davis said of Orlando's win at the United Center March 8. "Tonight, you saw a team out there playing without their star player, and did what they needed to do to win. And they beat us. They beat us with no problem. I wish they would have had Derrick Rose in a sense."