- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Carlos Boozer was one of the only bright spots on this night for the Bulls. The veteran power forward scored 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
What it means: The story is the same as it ever was for the Bulls when it comes to playing the Heat. Yes, Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler being in foul trouble changed the dynamic of the game. But that shouldn't override the fact that the Bulls couldn't get anything substantial going offensively all night. They struggled to find a rhythm, a common occurrence against Miami's defense in years past.
Rose looked rusty in his first regular-season game in more a year and a half, and there is no doubt he and his teammates will have better nights than this one this season. But with all the hope surrounding his return and the Bulls' championship aspirations this season, this game will serve as a reminder they still must find a way to get consistent scoring in crucial moments from someone other than Rose.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau will remind his team, and the media, that this game is just one of 82 contests this season. The issue for the Bulls is that this game -- one dominated by Miami's defense at times -- looked a lot like some of the playoff defeats the Bulls have suffered at the hands of the Heat in recent years.
Hits: Butler ended up having a solid night after he dodged his foul trouble. The third-year swingman finished with 20 points, three assists and three rebounds.
Misses: This was one of the worst games Deng has played in a long time. Mired in foul trouble throughout the night, Deng didn't play in the second quarter while saddled with three fouls. He scored four points and was just 2-for-8 from the field in 29 minutes.
Stat of the night: Rose's final line was 34 minutes, 12 points, 4-for-15 from the field, 1-for-7 from the three-point line, 3-for-4 from the charity stripe, four assists, one rebound and five turnovers.
What's next: The Bulls take on the New York Knicks on Thursday night at home in the United Center.
11dMatt Walks, ESPN.com