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Bulls haven't forgotten loss to Sixers

3/5/2012
Derrick Rose and the Bulls will look to avenge a February loss to the Sixers on Sunday. Howard Smith/US Presswire

CLEVELAND -- Derrick Rose has a long memory. He remembers almost everything that he has already been through in his career, especially the bad things. He remembers minor details in major games. He remembers things that will motivate him in the future.

If someone or some team has gotten the best of him in the past, he will do everything in his power to get the best of them the next time. That's why Rose is looking forward to Sunday night's rematch with the Philadelphia 76ers so much. He remembers how he felt walking out of Wells Fargo Arena on Feb. 1 when the Sixers rolled past the Bulls 98-82, and he wants to change things this time around. He thinks he knows how he and his teammates will be able to do that.

"Come out more prepared," he said. "They're a good team. I think we're kind of mad with the way that they smacked us last time at their place. It's definitely going to be a fun game."

That was the feeling throughout the Bulls' locker room late Friday night. They are looking forward to the challenge of playing the Sixers again. They know they can play a lot better.

"I think being locked in all 48 minutes," Deng said. "They're a good team. I thought the first half we played decent over there. We kind of lost focus a little bit in the second half and they made their run. We got to stop that. We've got to go in focused. We're playing a very good team, a good team at home. But we're pretty confident with the last three games that we played and having everyone back. So we're looking forward to go out there and having a better game."

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer acknowledged that he sees some of his own team's DNA in the way the Sixers play. They are scrappy and they play tough like the Bulls do on most nights.

"Yeah, I think this year more than last year," he said. "They've been able to jell under Doug Collins. Doug is a great coach, great basketball mind. Last year I think he was trying to implement his system and this year they took a hold of it, they believe in it and they're playing great basketball. We're looking forward to playing them and it should be a great game. Don't miss it."

So what's going to be different this time around?

"A lot of things," Boozer said. "They took it to us up there last time and we haven't forgot that. We're definitely looking forward to playing them. They're a very good team. They've got a lot of good players, they're probably seven, eight, nine, ten deep. They come in with a good second group of guys, their starters are very good. They play well as a unit. And they play pretty solid defense as well. So we got to be on our A-game and we're looking forward to the challenge."