Rapid Reaction: Bulls 101, Mavericks 78
November, 28, 2012
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a 101-78 over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Luol Deng led the way for the Bulls, scoring 22 points and grabbing six rebounds. Joakim Noah had another solid outing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Nate Robinson added 14 points and six assists off the bench. After barely playing in the Bulls' embarrassing loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, the second unit played with a confidence, as a group, that hasn't been seen all season.
What it means: The Bulls' bench obviously took to heart all the criticism it received in the past few days. They came out and set an early tone in the second quarter, giving the Bulls a lead they would never relinquish. Marco Belinelli hit his first 3-point attempt of the game and it seemed to loosen everyone up. Jimmy Butler played his best game of the season, and Robinson was more under control than usual. Taj Gibson played with his energy from last season, and even Nazr Mohammed added five rebounds in 12 minutes. This was exactly the way Tom Thibodeau was hoping his team, specifically his bench, would respond after giving away a 27-point lead Monday night.
Hits: Butler had 13 points and three rebounds off the bench. He was active in 27 minutes. The second-year forward was 9-for-10 from the foul line.
Misses: Carlos Boozer, Richard Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich combined for just 16 points.
Stat of the night: The Bulls' bench outscored the Mavs', 50-34. This came just two nights after Milwaukee's bench outscored the Bulls' bench 56-10.
What's next: The Bulls face off against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.