Updated: November 1, 2010, 10:52 PM ET

Chicago Fire: Johnson A Spark For Bulls

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Johnson

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- As his team languished in the second half of Saturday night's home opener against the Pistons, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau desperately searched his bench for a spark, an answer. He found one in the most unlikely of places: at the end of the bench in the form of James Johnson.

The second-year swingman came in late and gave his teammates a big boost, scoring eight points, dishing out four assists and grabbing three steals as well as nailing a clutch 3 late in the fourth quarter.

The irony that Johnson, a player many had written off after a disappointing rookie season, was the man who helped get the Bulls back on track in Saturday's 101-91 comeback win was lost on nobody Sunday afternoon at the Berto Center. Especially when you consider that Thibodeau told Johnson he would not be part of the rotation to start the season and would struggle to find consistent minutes.

"It's hard when the head coach comes up to you and tells you you're not going to be playing that much because we've got so many good players, different players, at his position," Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said. "He's young, and he came out ready even though he didn't know he was going to play. But he came out there, boosted us up, and gave us a lot of energy to go out there and win that game."

Click here to read the rest from Friedell at ESPNChicago.com

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