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Sunday, April 1, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Thunder 92, Bulls 78

By Nick Friedell



Oklahoma City -- Let's take a quick look at how the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled past the Chicago Bulls 92-78 on Sunday afternoon at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

How it happened: Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant dominated most of the day. The pair combined for 53 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists -- doing seemingly whatever they wanted on both ends of the floor. The Bulls allowed the Thunder to control the pace of the game and seemed very lethargic through long stretches of the contest. The Bulls' defense, which has been one of the best in the league all year, had one of its worst performances in the Tom Thibodeau era. Kyle Korver was one of the only bright spots on the day for the Bulls, scoring 14 points. John Lucas III added 19 points off the bench.

What it means: The Bulls were awful in this one. Obviously, they miss having Derrick Rose and Rip Hamilton on the floor, but the pair's absence wasn't why they lost this game. The Bulls lost because they got blitzed from start to finish by an extremely talented group. The Thunder outworked the Bulls on almost every level and were clearly the more aggressive team for 48 minutes. Thibodeau looked disgusted most of the day and it's easy to understand why. He is used to seeing his team scratch and claw for every inch they get on the floor -- but they didn't do that against Oklahoma City. They let Westbrook, Durant and their teammates do whatever they wanted.

Stat of the night: The Thunder shot 49 percent from the field while the Bulls shot just 33 percent.

Breaking it open:The Thunder came out of halftime leading by 10, they finished the third leading by 29. They came out at the beginning of the quarter trying to end the game, and that's exactly what they did. They had more energy and hit from all angles on the floor. It was arguably the worst quarter the Bulls have played under Thibodeau.

What’s next: The Bulls are right back at it Monday night when they take on the Houston Rockets. Rose will likely miss his 11th consecutive game, while Rip Hamilton will be a game-time decision because of a shoulder injury.