Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bulls [Print without images]

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 107, Cavs 75

By Nick Friedell



CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls breezed past the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-75 Thursday night at the United Center.

How it happened: Joakim Noah had another big game, going off for 13 points and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes. John Lucas III added 25 points while Taj Gibson chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds. The Bulls finish the regular season with a 50-16 record.

What it means: Playing without Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kyle Korver (rest), the Bulls did exactly what they were supposed to do: They crushed the Cavs and got themselves mentally prepared for the postseason. While the game was boring to most spectators, it looked good to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau because nobody else got hurt and his team played with the kind of edge he wants it to have -- even in a game that didn't seem to matter much on the surface. Thibodeau always talks about not "skipping steps" so he has to like where they're at heading into the playoffs.

Stat of the night: With the win, the Bulls' clinch the NBA's best regular season record for the second year in a row. They will have homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

Winning with ease: How easy was this game for the Bulls? The lineup of Brian Scalabrine, Jimmy Butler, Mike James, Omer Asik and Lucas closed things out for Thibodeau.

What's next: The Bulls face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Saturday.