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2011-12 Chicago Bulls | 66 games of coverage

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>> 2012 NBA Playoffs | See Red




Game 66 | Bulls conclude one of best seasons in franchise history

Bulls 107, Cavaliers 75 | 04.26.2012 (50-16)

Before beginning what the Bulls believe can be another march to an NBA championship—really, they do—it’s worth taking some time to savor what has been one of the best and perhaps most remarkable seasons in franchise history with a closing 107-75 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls never trailed after the first quarter on the way to leading by more than 20 most of the fourth quarter and it ended with Brian Scalabrine hitting a 22-footer from the left elbow. “We had a terrific season,” said John Lucas III, who led the Bulls with 25 points as the reserves combined for 65 points. “You always want to finish strong. Our coaching staff and organization put a core group together one through 14 who can flat out play. Everyone has confidence.”
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Jimmy Butler | Joakim Noah




Game 65 | Bulls beat Pacers with Rose improving

Bulls 92, Pacers 87 | 04.25.2012 (49-16)

You can breathe now. Go ahead. Derrick. He’s all right. Yes, really. “I’m going to be all right,” Rose said after Chicago's relatively meaningless 92-87 victory over the Indiana Pacers. See, he said it himself. Derrick said it! He really did. He walks! He talks! He shoots! Well, not that great, three for 11 for 10 points with seven assists and one turnover. But everything worked. “If the game was a crazy type of game and at the end I needed to take over, that’s what I’m going to try to do,” said Rose. Whew, he’s OK. “Every day getting better,” said Rose. “Trying not to do much out there. Trying not to get reinjured. That’s the biggest thing and making sure I’m playing with confidence. I’m just trying to play in a groove.”
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Sam Smith: Are the Bulls and Heat getting just what they want?




Game 64 | Rose returns as Bulls close in on East’s top seed

Bulls 93, Mavericks 83 | 04.21.2012 (48-16)

It’s all about the seeds now, and the Bulls saw some of their most important growth in their 93-83 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Yes, the Bulls are on the verge of clinching the No. 1 seed and thus home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs with their win and Miami’s loss that leaves the magic number at one. But for the Bulls’ ultimate hopes and dreams to truly sprout, they’ll need the bloom and growth of star guard Derrick Rose, who carefully returned to the starting lineup Saturday after having missed 16 of the last 19 games with groin, ankle and foot problems.
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | Derrick Rose




Game 63 | Bulls can’t keep up with the Heat in Miami

Heat 83, Bulls 72 | 04.19.2012 (47-16)

This season for the Bulls has been about whether they can get past the Miami Heat, much like the Bulls of the late 1980’s struggled with the Detroit Pistons. It’s been about being able to counter the star power of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and lately, whether Derrick Rose will be healthy enough for the Bulls to make that run. But in Miami’s 83-72 victory over the Bulls to even the season series at 2-2, a very Pistons-like issue arose again for these young Bulls. Will they stand and fight back? The preliminary answer was no the way things transpired, and it seemed to concern Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Discuss the game
Sam Smith: Bulls and Heat prepare for another




Game 62 | Bulls bounce Mike’s ‘Cats; head for Miami

Bulls 100, Bobcats 68 | 04.18.2012 (47-15)

The Bulls dominated the awful Charlotte Bobcats, 100-68, in an efficient bounce back effort behind 22 points from Richard Hamilton and a vital bench output of 42 points with no starter playing more than 24 minutes. No, the Bulls aren’t ready for the Eastern Conference Finals yet, or really the playoffs with Derrick Rose and Luol Deng not playing. But it wasn’t really necessary against the 7-54 Bobcats, who lost their 18th straight. They got 16 points from Kemba Walker and 13 from Gerald Henderson, though they were dominated playing against the Bulls reserves.
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Sam Smith: Bulls start well against Bobcats, while Tyrus has no fight
Also: Rose and Deng unlikely to play against Bobcats




Game 61 | Bulls, like much of America, frustrated by Washington

Wizards 87, Bulls 84 | 04.16.2012 (46-15)

It wasn’t too long ago the Bulls looked like a championship team. Actually about four days ago with the dramatic, national TV come from ahead overtime win over the Miami Heat. But with a stunning 87-84 home loss to the 15-46 Washington Wizards, the 46-15 Bulls for about the last month look more like a .500-type team, half broken down, worn out and beaten up, a team constantly losing big leads, even to poor teams, and on the verge of losing the top seed in the conference while seemingly losing its edge. Too dramatic?
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Joakim Noah




Game 60 | Bulls with another ho hum overtime win

Bulls 100, Pistons 94 (OT) | 04.15.2012 (46-14)

It might be said there was good and bad in the Bulls 100-94 overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons, other than the obvious of not having to listen to that public address announcer again this season. There was the good of winning a second straight overtime game with a last second three to tie the game in regulation, this time from Derrick Rose, who was looking somewhat like himself with 24 points and nine assists with that clutch three after his poorest pro game and one of 13 against Miami.
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 59 | Bulls bench the Heat with 96-86 overtime win

Bulls 96, Heat 86 (OT) | 04.12.2012 (45-14)

It was not only a good day for the Bulls with their 96-86 overtime victory over the Miami Heat, but it was an important day for the rest of the NBA one of those days you’ll remember where you were. That’s because it was the day the Miami Heat, 21 months after coming together and declaring a dynasty, lost its aura. It’s not to say the Heat cannot win an NBA championship. But Chicago’s win basically assured the Bulls home court advantage as long as they are in the Eastern Conference playoffs and demonstrated to everyone a myriad of flaws for the Heat. They are good, yes. Scary? Not any more.
Read Sam Smith's complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Discuss the game
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | C.J. Watson | Taj Gibson
Blogs.Bulls.com: Are the Bulls chasing the Heat, or vice versa?
Sam Smith: Who’s afraid of the big, bad Heat?




Game 58 | Bulls pay back New York and wait for Miami

Bulls 98, Knicks 86 | 04.10.2012 (44-14)

Kyle Korver was the spirit and the soul of the Bulls in Chicago’s 98-86 victory over the New York Knicks. Korver had 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as he also had seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks. But it was his full out dive on the floor early in the fourth quarter when he grabbed the ball away from Baron Davis and whipped the ball to Taj Gibson for a dunk that symbolized the effort that overwhelmed the Knicks. But it was Richard Hamilton with a team high 20 points along with five assists who projected the promise and the potential of this Bulls team.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | Kyle Korver | C.J. Watson
Sam Smith: Bulls preparing for Rose to play unless he doesn’t
Blogs.Bulls.com: Rose and Shumpert rematch may have to wait
Sam Smith: Bulls favored in Game 2 of series with Knicks




Game 57 | Bulls not in such a ‘Melo mood after Anthony’s threes

Knicks 100, Bulls 99 (OT) | 04.08.2012 (43-14)

It looks like the Knicks at least got the Bulls attention in that 100-99 Knicks’ overtime victory. “Hopefully next time we play them we come out with a sense of urgency,” said Derrick Rose, who had 29 points in his return from missing 12 games with a groin injury but along with Luol Deng each missed two free throws in the last 34 seconds to allow the Knicks to force overtime. The Knicks did that with a Carmelo Anthony three with 11.2 seconds left in regulation and then another Anthony three to win it, this time with 8.2 seconds left in overtime in a possession in which the Knicks got three offensive rebounds.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Sam Smith at Blogs.Bulls.com: Rose makes his return Easter Sunday in New York




Game 56 | Bulls leave Boston too pooped to pop enough shots

Bulls 93, Celtics 86 | 04.05.2012 (43-13)

When last we left our Bulls, after a second consecutive loss for the first time in more than a year, they were dangling from a metaphorical rope that apparently represented their suddenly shaky bond of excellence. Would Derrick return and lift them? Could Lu keep it up and pull his teammates back from the brink? Was Rip torn? We had to tune in for the next chapter of the Perils of Thibs’ Thirteen. And at least until the next episode, the Bulls survived with a strong second half comeback from a 13-point deficit for a 93-86 victory over the Boston Celtics. “We let go of the rope,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Yes, now them. So, at least for now, the Bulls have strengthened their hold on first place in the Eastern Conference at 43-13.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | Joakim Noah




Game 55 | Bulls in first regular season losing streak in 14 months

Rockets 99, Bulls 93 | 04.02.2012 (42-13)

Who knew March NBA Coach of the Month Tom Thibodeau also was an amateur theologian? Though perhaps that’s what happens when you lose a second game in a row for the first time in almost 14 months, which the Bulls did Monday in a 99-93 loss to the Houston Rockets. Although Richard Hamilton returned from his shoulder injury to start while Derrick Rose still was out and the Bulls maintained their league best record at 42-13, Thibodeau turned to symbolism to express his disappointment at the Bulls blowing a 13-point third quarter lead.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room with Luol Deng




Game 54 | Overwhelmed by an Oklahoma City storm on a sunny day

Thunder 92, Bulls 78 | 04.01.2012 (42-12)

Well, there goes home court advantage in the NBA Finals. Of course, there goes the Finals if the Bulls play like they did in a 92-78 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But don’t always believe what you read. This one could have been by 50 in favor of the Thunder as they basically pulled their team late in the third quarter after leading 80-51. “It was disappointing,” said Joakim Noah. “Not that any game is more important that others. But, obviously, this was a game between the best team in the East and the best team in the West. It’s more disappointing knowing that. For us to lose like that is bad. But we have to bounce back. They definitely played well, and they definitely played with more energy than we did. I think we’re a better offensive team than we showed. I’m just disappointed.”
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Sam Smith on Blogs.Bulls.com: Bulls looking at a tornado in Oklahoma City




Game 53 | Bulls show Pistons how to play De-Troit basketball

Bulls 83, Pistons 71 | 03.30.2012 (42-11)

The Bulls’ 83-71 win over the Detroit Pistons is one of those NBA games that might be termed ugly for relatively poor shooting by both teams, few fast breaks, five of 23 on threes combined by both teams and limited enthusiasm from the home crowd as the Bulls didn’t trail after the first quarter. But the game was really a sort of Bulls masterpiece yet again despite the absence of Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton, the latter a late scratch after indications he would return.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Joakim Noah | Taj Gibson
Blogs.Bulls.com: Detroit’s Gordon preaches patience for Rose, praises Thibodeau




Game 52 | Bulls ground Hawks in Atlanta

Bulls 98, Hawks 77 | 03.28.2012 (41-11)

Is this 2011-12 Bulls team the second best in franchise history? I assume they are not, writes Sam Smith, since after losing badly at home to the fighting-for-the-playoffs Denver Nuggets in the wake of a pair of fortunate wins over the barely trying Toronto Raptors we pretty much decided these aren’t the best of times nor really an age of wisdom for the Bulls. But with a relatively efficient 98-77 win over Atlanta, it’s becoming something of an epoch of incredulity for these Bulls, who now are a remarkable 21-6 on the road and a league best 41-11. “I think we have the right guys; it starts there,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. “The attitude and approach of the team is excellent. These guys, they do a great job of coming ready. Even when we’re not playing well they’re determined the next time to get it right.”
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 51 | Bulls get the boot from Denver

Nuggets 108, Bulls 91 | 03.26.2012 (40-11)

So let’s take a look at the matchups between the team with the league’s best record, the Bulls, and the Denver Nuggets, who are tied for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. Denver has Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo in the backcourt compared with C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer. So make that huge edge for the Nuggets as the Bulls failed to acquire Afflalo last offseason and then signed Richard Hamilton. JaVale McGee at center against Joakim Noah, and McGee is certainly more athletic and it’s not like Noah is a better offensive player. Luol Deng’s an All-Star, but he is playing with a torn ligament while Wilson Chandler is a terrific athlete who can outdo Deng in the open court. Carlos Boozer and rookie Kenneth Faried, and you have to give that to Boozer, though Faried is scary. Andre Miller, still probably a top 15 overall point guard coming off the bench, against John Lucas? Al Harrington, one of the league’s premier reserve scorers averaging almost 15 per game against Kyle Korver. How the heck do the Bulls have any chance of beating a team like that without Derrick Rose playing? Oh, right, they pretty much shouldn’t, and they didn’t as the Nuggets easily pulled away from the Bulls after halftime for a 108-91 victory.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Kyle Korver | John Lucas III
Blogs.Bulls.com: Denver’s Karl: Even without Rose, Bulls a tough draw




Game 50 | Bulls try to let Raptors take one but they cannot

Bulls 102, Raptors 101 (OT) | 03.24.2012 (40-10)

The Bulls clearly don’t believe they can lose to the Toronto Raptors. And try as the Bulls might in being outrebounded, outshot and generally outplayed, the Bulls were right. They defeated the Raptors 102-101 in overtime for the second time in four days despite trailing badly much of the game and in the fourth quarter both times before Luol Deng caught a blocked C.J. Watson shot and laid the ball in a fraction before the overtime buzzer. “C.J. drove, the ball came up short and I just tipped it in,” said Deng, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds in just under 50 minutes played.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Video: Deng's game-winning tip
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | C.J. Watson
Blogs.Bulls.com: Rose making progress and increasing activity




Game 49 | Lucas and Korver quiet Raptors

Bulls 94, Raptors 82 | 03.21.2012 (39-10)

Basketball is a pretty simple game. Figure your team is tired, trailing by eight with about 10 minutes left, a little underwhelmed by the opposition and still without the league MVP and its starting backcourt while playing a league most 26th road game. So you dig in a bit on defense. And hope John Lucas III and Kyle Korver can bail you out? As unlikely as it seems, that’s what occurred in Toronto Wednesday. Led by Lucas, who is about five feet tall with the Canadian exchange rate, and Korver, whose secret wish is to be the next Pierre Trudeau, the Bulls came back to defeat the Raptors 94-82.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 48 | Bulls make some history and have some fun

Bulls 85, Magic 59 | 03.19.2012 (38-10)

It really was historic stuff for the Bulls in their 85-59 domination of the Orlando Magic. Sure, there was the official history of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau setting the alltime NBA record for fastest to 100 victories in his 130th game as Bulls coach. But it was a classic all around effort as the Bulls defensive play was relentless, their passing precise and repeated and their movement baffling to the Magic, who were really never in the game and led by Dwight Howard with a harmless 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Thibodeau quickest coach in NBA history to hit 100 wins




Game 47 | Bulls with spirited win over 76ers

Bulls 89, 76ers 80 | 03.17.2012 (36-10)

The C.J. is for Charles Jr. Sam Smith looked it up for the first time after the Bulls 89-80 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in which Watson led the Bulls with 20 points and four of eight three pointers. He is getting the feeling the way things are going we better get to know Watson a little better as he might be the starting point guard for a bit more than expected.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Ronnie Brewer | Joakim Noah | C.J. Watson




Game 46 | Bulls lose to Portland in a blaze of misses

Blazers 100, Bulls 89 | 03.16.2012 (36-10)

Yes, the Bulls had that wonderful Derrick Rose-less victory over the Miami Heat. But with a 100-89 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, you are starting to get the feeling there isn’t that much juice left. Coaches like to use the word “juice” as a shorthand for energy, and it’s been in limited supply for the Bulls lately as they gave up almost 50 percent shooting to a muddled Trail Blazers team that was playing its sixth straight road game in the last 10 days, had just lost by 40 in New York, fired its coach and traded away two starters.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Taj Gibson




Game 45 | Bulls surprise Heat without Rose

Bulls 106, Heat 102 | 03.14.2012 (36-9)

That’s it? That’s all you got? Of all the storylines that emerged from a 106-102 Bulls win over the Miami Heat–like Derrick Rose’s absence with a groin problem, John Lucas III’s team-high 24 points, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combining for 71 points and the return of Luol Deng and C.J. Watson–the most enduring image is of a flawed and fallible Heat team just about everyone is picking to win the NBA title? Still? No one is saying the Bulls are favorites. But this Heat team, with four losses in its last seven games and now three and a half games behind the injury wracked Bulls, certainly looks vulnerable.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | John Lucas III | C.J. Watson




Game 44 | Bulls little ones finish off Knicks Big Three

Bulls 104, Knicks 97 | 03.12.2012 (35-9)

The Bulls, with a combination of Derrick Rose and trying harder, demonstrated they could beat the East’s secondary Big Three of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, which the Bulls did 104-99. The larger question is whether the Bulls can handle the league’s elite Big Three, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, which they’ll get a chance to do at the United Center Wednesday. “It’s gonna be a big one Wednesday. We’re excited about it,” said Joakim Noah, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Bulls crushed the Knicks on the boards 56-38 and 22-9 on the offensive boards with a 24-6 edge in second chance points. “People in Chicago are excited and we’re very excited. It’s going to be competitive. What else can I tell you?”
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Derrick Rose | Jimmy Butler | Taj Gibson
Blogs.Bulls.com: Chandler sees Knicks as potential contender




Game 43 | Boozer, Korver lead Bulls past Jazz

Bulls 111, Jazz 97 | 03.10.2012 (34-9)

What if Carlos Boozer got as many as 17 shots, like he has just six times this season, and like he did in the Bulls' 111-97 win over the Utah Jazz as Boozer led the way with 27 points? Would that be the answer to some of Chicago’s scoring questions? It’s something that Sam Smith thought about watching the shorthanded Bulls without Luol Deng, Richard Hamilton, C.J. Watson and Joakim Noah handle a playoff contending team. Sure, the 34-9 Bulls had Derrick Rose, who had 24 points and 13 assists and looked like he could score anytime he wanted to, but was letting the other kids play.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Carlos Boozer | Jimmy Butler | Kyle Korver




Game 42 | Nothing magical about the Bulls against Orlando

Magic 99, Bulls 94 | 03.08.2012 (33-9)

There are two ways to play Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. You single cover Howard and stay with their three point shooters, giving Howard his points but cutting down their overall offense. Or you double Howard not to let him beat you and take your chances the perimeter guys will miss. The Bulls basically chose neither plan, at least early in the game as the Magic jumped out to a 37-22 first quarter lead and then held on late in defeating the Bulls 99-94.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Joakim Noah
Blogs.Bulls.com: Magic’s Dwight Howard living in the moment as trade deadline nears




Game 41 | Bucks stopped in Milwaukee by Rose

Bulls 106, Bucks 104 | 03.07.2012 (33-8)

Great players don’t always make potential game winning shots. But they take them, which is what Derrick Rose did in Milwaukee, and his step back jumper settled through the net as time expired for a 106-104 Bulls victory. “It’s a great feeling,” said Rose, who finished with 30 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. “We’re just happy we got the win. We’re trying to keep this thing going. As a kid those are things you dream about. It felt good when you’re on the road against a team that’s giving their all and you hit a nice shot like that. I remember a few years back, I was missing those kinds of shots. I think it’s a thing where you just learn from (failures).”
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Rose's game-winning shot




Game 40 | Bulls win one and lose one against Pacers

Bulls 92, Pacers 72 | 03.05.2012 (32-8)

The Bulls' success against the Indiana Pacers may have been the definition of a Pyrrhic victory as the Bulls avenged their January loss to the Pacers but may have lost Richard Hamilton to a serious shoulder injury. More wins like this and the Bulls could be in trouble. Hamilton left the 92-72 win a minute into the game after running into a Roy Hibbert screen. Hamilton was said to have difficulty afterward even lifting his right arm as a result. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said the team won’t know the extent of the injury until further examination. “He tried to shake it off,” said Thibodeau. “At first I thought might be stinger. That was not the case. They said we have to wait to see. Hopefully, he’ll be OK.”
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | Ronnie Brewer
Blogs.Bulls.com: Pacers return to scene of the celebration




Game 39 | Rose sensational as Bulls beat 76ers

Bulls 96, 76ers 91 | 03.04.2012 (31-8)

The specter of the 76ers Feb. 1 win in which the starters were benched down the stretch still was with Rose. “They were laughing at us here last time,” Rose told his teammates as the Bulls were finished with the pregame warmups before playing the Philadelphia 76ers. “It’s not going to happen again.” The 76ers didn’t get that last laugh, but mainly thanks to a brilliant game by Rose with 35 points, including 20 in the second half. And Rose also made the game winning floater with 20.2 seconds remaining, an amazing degree of difficulty effort going hard left into traffic and shooting right that effectively clinched a 96-91 victory.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 38 | Bulls back on top in East with win in Cleveland

Bulls 112, Cavaliers 91 | 03.02.2012 (30-8)

It wasn’t a blowout win in Cleveland like last time for the Bulls, though it looked like it with a 112-91 final in which no Bulls starter scored in the fourth quarter and only Luol Deng played, albeit briefly. Deng had a season high 24 points and just his second game shooting better than 50 percent since he hurt his left wrist Jan. 21. Derrick Rose had an only-when-necessary 19 points and nine assists in just over 28 minutes while the reserves played well again with Ronnie Brewer with 13 points back to his bench energizer role and Kyle Korver with a three jamboree of a trio of three pointers in the second quarter to help the Bulls begin to open up the game.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 37 | Rose making an MVP case again as Bulls beat Spurs

Bulls 96, Spurs 89 | 02.29.2012 (29-8)

The conventional wisdom — and if it’s accepted it’s not particularly knowledgeable — is that Derrick Rose isn’t going to repeat as MVP. It generally seems to have been decided the Bulls played well without him and he missed too many games. But in scoring 29 points to carry the Bulls to a 96-89 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs in a tough game, Rose continues to demonstrate he has to do what no other player in the NBA does. “Down the stretch he’s got the capability of making big shot after big shot,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 36 | Rose and Noah save Bulls with last shot magic

Bulls 99, Hornets 95 | 02.28.2012 (28-8)

Richard Hamilton is back in the Bulls lineup, Derrick Rose still is really, really good, and the Bulls beat the New Orleans Hornets 99-95. Other than that there wasn’t much positive to say about the Bulls’ start of the second half of the NBA season. “Defensively, I don’t think we did as well as we wanted to,” said Joakim Noah. “It just shows the resilience of this team. Down four with a minute to go (1:26), you’ve just got to find a way. Just because we’re the Chicago Bulls doesn’t mean we’re going to win every game by 30. We know we have a ways to go. We have to play better to get to where we want to go.”
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Taj Gibson | Arena Link with Derrick Rose




Game 35 | Bulls overwhelm Bucks to conclude successful first half

Bulls 110, Bucks 91 | 02.22.2012 (27-8)

The Bulls concluded their first half of the 2011-12 season with a dominant 110-91 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in which Joakim Noah had his first ever triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, the first triple-double for a Bulls center since Artis Gilmore in 1977. Call it “party time,” as Noah left with his teammates to celebrate his upcoming 27th birthday with his teammates. It was fun for the Bulls against the Bucks with Boozer leading with 20 points, a self-proclaimed pain free Derrick Rose with 16 points, every starter in double figures and the Bulls with a double digit lead the entire second half and as much as 22.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
Pain-free Rose says no trades needed for this Bulls team
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Derrick Rose | Joakim Noah | Luol Deng | Carlos Boozer




Game 34 | Rose returns as Bulls ground Hawks

Bulls 90, Hawks 79 | 02.20.2012 (26-8)

For the last two weeks, the story with the Bulls has been Derrick Rose’s back, which kept him out of the last five games and with other maladies 10 overall on the season, nearly a third of the team’s games. But against Atlanta, the story was Rose being back, and it was a relief for the Bulls in their 90-79 victory over the Hawks. It was President’s Day, so it was the Bulls’ indispensable man, their Washington, who rode to the rescue.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Taj Gibson | Ronnie Brewer




Game 33 | Bulls learn some hard facts in blowout loss to Nets

Nets 97, Bulls 85 | 02.18.2012 (25-8)

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau likes to say every game reveals something about your team. So what do you suppose the New Jersey Nets' 97-85 domination of the Bulls in the United Center revealed about the home team? Sam Smith makes it the top 10 things we learned about the Bulls...
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Taj Gibson




Game 32 | It was Mike Mania for the Bulls over Boston

Bulls 89, Celtics 80 | 02.16.2012 (25-7)

It’s the kind of sports story you just love. Guy from the D-League everyone’s overlooked just won’t give up. And because he wouldn’t, the Bulls were able to avenge a loss in Boston Sunday and defeat the Celtics 89-80. “I love this,” said Luol Deng with another versatile all around effort with 23 points and 10 assists, including six of nine three pointers. “Guy not getting respect and coming in and getting it done. I love stories like that.” Call it Mike Madness, as 36-year-old Mike James, on his second D-League callup with the Bulls this season, came in with the Bulls trailing 31-24 and being pushed around by Rajon Rondo and the Celtics. James pushed back, and with the inspired backboard play of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, the Bulls went on a 22-2 run to regain control of the game and pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis

Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Carlos Boozer | Luol Deng | Joakim Noah




Game 31 | No Valentine’s Day massacre for the Bulls this time

Bulls 121, Kings 115 | 02.14.2012 (24-7)

The Bulls love to talk about having enough to win no matter who is out. It’s coach Tom Thibodeau’s mantra, and it’s been one of the best things he’s done. So there are no excuses, no feeling sorry for yourself, showing that all things are possible no matter what anyone says. It may be the biggest reason the Bulls led the league in wins last season, and why they lead the Eastern Conference again, which was enough to assure Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau will coach the Eastern Conference at the Feb. 26th All Star game in Orlando. The Bulls, 24-7, demonstrated that resolve again Tuesday in outlasting the Sacramento Kings 121-115. “We will take them any way we get them,” said Thibodeau. “We found a way to win. Over the course of a season, you’ve got to win different ways. Obviously, our defense needs a lot of work.”
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
Rose improving, optimistic about returning soon | Game-ready James back with the Bulls
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | Taj Gibson | Kyle Korver | John Lucas III




Game 30 | Bulls philosophical about loss to Celtics

Celtics 95, Bulls 91 | 02.12.2012 (23-7)

The great philosopher Thibs often says, as he did after the Bulls were vanquished by the Boston Celtics 95-91, that every game presents the good and the bad. Or as Descartes once explained it, perhaps at a clinic to Thibs: “I think therefore I am.” So let’s think about just where the Bulls are after 30 games: A conference best 23-7 record with a staggering 20 road games, by far the most in the NBA with the regular starting lineup together for just five games as Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton were both again out Sunday. That’s good. Of course, the bad part is the Bulls continue to beat up on the teams who won’t be in the playoffs. That while they are 6-6 against winning teams and lost on this nine-game road trip to the only three teams with winning records.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Sam Smith: Rose out Sunday and to see back specialist
Also: Bulls still feeling the heat even in Boston




Game 29 | Bulls give a Jordan like beating to Michael’s ‘Cats

Bulls 95, Bobcats 64 | 02.10.2012 (23-6)

The Bulls are 23-6 after again dominating win over the Charlotte Bobcats, this time 95-64, the Bulls’ league record fourth consecutive road victory by at least 20 points. They have the best record in the NBA, and the toughest part, at least in the regular season, may be behind them now. “We’re coming out with a better mindset, focused, locked in,” said Luol Deng, whose 10 first quarter points kick started the Bulls to 30-16 lead that quickly swelled beyond 20 for the rest of the game and as much as 32. “No one is relaxed. The schedule has a lot to do with it. The start of the season there were a lot of back to backs. Lately, it’s been every other day, so I feel rested and a lot of guys feel the same.”
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Game 28 | Bulls do some partying in New Orleans

Bulls 90, Hornets 67 | 02.08.2012 (22-6)

The New Orleans Hornets had actor/comedian Will Ferrell, in the city filming a movie, read the starting lineup introductions with his own little twists. I actually thought it was a particularly prescient moment. After all, how appropriate for a laugher. And that’s what the Bulls’ 90-67 domination was as the Bulls scored the first nine points, led 15-4 and then pretty much were ahead by double figures the rest of the game. Only some weak defensive moments at the end of the fourth quarter enabled the Hornets to not only avoid their lowest scoring game ever (65 points), but also the fewest points ever scored by a Bulls opponent, which was 62. The Hornets had 58 points with just over 90 seconds remaining.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Will Ferrell introduces the Bulls




Game 27 | Bulls net themselves a victory in New Jersey

Bulls 108, Nets 87 | 02.06.2012 (21-6)

The euphoria of winning a Super Bowl certainly doesn’t last long. Some 24 hours after New Jersey was celebrating its Giants, the beloved Nets were blitzed by the Bulls 108-87. The Bulls won this game in the first quarter when they put on a basketball clinic with a 35-14 lead in which they shot 76.5 percent, had 10 assists on 13 baskets and made four of five threes while the Nets shot 30.4 percent. This was one of those games if it were in the youth leagues they’d call the slaughter rule and let the kids have their juice boxes.
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Game 26 | Bulls bucking all the negative NBA trends

Bulls 113, Bucks 90 | 02.04.2012 (20-6)

The Bulls crushed the Milwaukee Bucks 113-90 to become the first team in the league with 20 wins. The Bulls accomplished that, going to 20-6, despite playing the most road games in the NBA and the most games overall, including 10 back to backs. “That’s a great team,” said Bucks coach Scott Skiles, the former Bulls coach. “Once they take control it becomes very difficult to get back into the game. That team is a legitimate contender.” There wasn’t much to deny that with Derrick Rose dominating the game to start with 16 first quarter points—not so coincidently what Bucks guard Brandon Jennings scored against the Bulls in the first quarter a week ago—as the Bulls took a 30-16 first quarter lead and never led by fewer the rest of the game.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Taj Gibson's buggy whip




Game 25 | Bulls avoid a mugging in New York

Bulls 105, Knicks 102 | 02.02.2012 (19-6)

Derrick Rose could smile this time. “I finally hit the damn free throw,” Rose was saying in the Bulls locker room after the Bulls escaped with a 105-102 victory over the New York Knicks that Rose made a bit more interesting with one of two free throws with 5.3 seconds left to give the Knicks a last chance for a tie. “That’s what I’m happy about. I hit one. So, hopefully next time I’ll hit both of them.” That, of course, was in reference to his pair of missed free throws at the end of the loss in Miami that began this four games in five nights stretch. Rose was disconsolate and near tears afterward despite 34 points. But he was enjoying a light moment late Thursday night after earlier being named a starter to the Eastern Conference All-Star team and putting on a show worthy of Broadway for the New York crowd.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Rose named NBA All-Star starter for second straight year | Rose excited about being named an All-Star starter




Game 24 | Bulls get their bell rung in Philadelphia

76ers 98, Bulls 82 | 02.01.2012 (18-6)

The Eastern Conference may be catching up as the Philadelphia 76ers clobbered the Bulls 98-82 as it got so bad the starters didn’t play in the fourth quarter and coach Tom Thibodeau said he wasn’t thinking of bringing them back, anyway. “Our starters were so lethargic in the third,” said Thibodeau of being outscored 26-11 and falling behind 75-55 after three. “Quite honestly, if we had gotten closer I was going to finish with the group we had in there. They were fighting to get us out of the hole.” Yes, Brian Scalabrine and John Lucas among them...
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | An inside look at Bulls/76ers pregame
Box score | BullsTV recap | Spirited 76ers looking to surprise the guys in red (jerseys)




Game 23 | Rose propels Bulls past Wizards in D.C.

Bulls 98, Wizards 88 | 01.30.2012 (18-5)

While the Bulls would liked to have defeated the Heat, it was the sort of game that hardly limited their confidence. And then they avoided the trap of less committed teams and didn’t allow a rested, albeit less talented Washington team, to take advantage of the potential emotional hangover. “Thibs was telling us he was more scared about this game than yesterday,” said Derrick Rose. “He’s definitely the best coach I’ve had. He holds you accountable for every single thing.” In recounting Rose’s play after the game with not only 35 points but 14 of 15 from the free throw line, eight assists and five blocked shots, Thibodeau said Rose, who had zero, could have gotten some rebounds. Thibodeau did concede it was if he wanted to not pick, though he did bring it up. “He puts a lot of pressure on you as a player,” said Rose with a knowing smile. “He makes sure everyone is keyed in on what you have to do in that game.”
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Rose is being just like Mike with free throws
Box score | BullsTV recap | Arena Link: Kyle Korver




Game 22 | Bulls fall to Heat in regular season classic

Heat 97, Bulls 93 | 01.29.2012 (17-5)

Yes, the Bulls lost 97-93 to their newest rival, the Miami Heat, and Derrick Rose was disconsolate after missing two free throws with 22.7 seconds left that could have given the Bulls a one-point lead. “I’ve been in those situations before and knocked down both,” said Rose, alternately still shaking his head in disbelief and choking up at times in a business-like Bulls postgame locker room. “To miss both, I let my team down. This is so unreal for now, knowing I had chance to change the game. I guarantee next time the shots are going down." Rose always does this — no, not miss potential game winning free throws as that’s LeBron James’ job — in accepting blame for every loss. Anyone who saw a terrific regular season game on national TV knows that’s nonsense.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Hamilton back; Deng and Watson out vs. Heat
Box score | BullsTV recap | Bulls facing big test in Miami




Game 21 | Bulls buck potential losing trend with win over Milwaukee

Bulls 107, Bucks 100 | 01.27.2012 (17-4)

The Bulls got a big three performance in a 107-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Derrick Rose toed the line, as it were, with a season high 34 points while Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah both had double/doubles, combining for 35 points and 29 rebounds. So are the Bulls ready for the Miami Heat and its Big Three? “We’re taking it one game at a time,” said Rose of the Bulls opening their nine-game, 16-day road trip with an Eastern Conference finals rematch in Miami. “We know that it is going to be very hard. We know that we are going to have to play together even though we are down some players. So we have to execute while we’re out there and play hard and complete every time we step on the court.”
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Deng “probably a week away” from returning | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Derrick Rose | Joakim Noah | Photo gallery




Game 20 | Have the Bulls found a new rival in the East?

Pacers 95, Bulls 90 | 01.25.2012 (16-4)

About that Bulls/Heat Eastern Conference finals, well, uh, you might want to wait a bit. “We believe we are one of the best defensive teams in the league,” Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel was saying after his team effectively shut down the Bulls in the second half on the way to a convincing 95-90 victory. “They (Pacers’ players) believed they were going to win (the opening round playoff series) last year. They were crushed they didn’t win last year. The difference between this team and last year’s team is we have confidence we’ll score at crunch time, in the fourth quarter. We did not have that last year and it cost us the series. We believe going into the fourth quarter we can get stops and execute and win the close games.” And that’s exactly what the Pacers, quietly now 12-5, did in holding the Bulls to 36 second half points.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Inside the Locker Room: Derrick Rose | Photo gallery




Game 19 | Bulls defeat Nets to remain unbeaten at home

Bulls 110, Nets 95 | 01.23.2012 (16-3)

Against a New Jersey Nets team playing its third game in three nights, the Bulls led for more than 47 minutes, pretty much by double figures all game after the first six minutes and by a high of 21 early in the third quarter. The Nets did cut the Bulls lead to 96-82 behind some subs with 5:20 left. So Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau stayed with his starters the rest of the way as Richard Hamilton equaled Derrick Rose with 22 points and added 10 assists in 42 minutes. “You never know with Thibs,” Noah said with a smile when asked about returning with 3:34 left and the Bulls leading 101-84.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap
Inside the Locker Room: Derrick Rose | Joakim Noah | Brian Scalabrine | Photo gallery




Game 18 | Bulls continue their revolutionary ways over Bobcats

Bulls 95, Bobcats 89 | 01.21.2012 (15-3)

Fans sometimes ask Sam Smith why he doesn't have as many Bulls trade proposals as before, and a 15-3 Bulls team after a 95-89 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats is one major reason. But the other is the seemingly irreplaceable man, Luol Deng, who was once again, as coach Tom Thibodeau likes to say, the glue that holds the team together even when Derrick Rose is playing. But now with three of the team’s top six players sidelined, Deng takes on in a fashion the role of the team’s George Washington, the indispensible man.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Noah and Gibson join Rose on the Bulls’ injured list | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Luol Deng | C.J. Watson | Mike James | Photo gallery




Game 17 | Bulls take vacation in Cleveland

Bulls 114, Cavaliers 75 | 01.20.2012 (14-3)

It’s pretty clear now what the Bulls have to do following a dominating 114-75 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to raise the team’s record to a league best 14-3. They have to shut Derrick Rose down the rest of the season. Look, what’s really the point anymore after a brilliant effort against an improving Cavs team that is actually seventh in the Eastern Conference. Luol Deng had what is now becoming common for him, a hustling 21 points and eight rebounds. Carlos Boozer continued his strong play with 19 points and 14 rebounds and a double/double by just barely after halftime.
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Read Sam Smith’s complete postgame analysis
BullsTV recap | Box score | BullsConnect fan forums




Game 16 | Bulls don’t need Rose this time against Suns

Bulls 118, Suns 97 | 01.17.2012 (13-3)

Derrick Rose got a nice rest and coach Tom Thibodeau got a nice 54th birthday present at the United Center with a near perfect — well, Thibs had some issues with the defense, of course — 118-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Even without Rose, who was missing his third game in the last five, the Bulls blew open this game early with big time performances from Carlos Boozer with a near Bulls career high of 31 points, C.J. Watson with a sharpshooting 23 points, Joakim Noah with an animated 13 points and 12 rebounds and the return of Richard Hamilton from injury with 11 points and a team best six assists.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Rose misses third game, but Hamilton returns to lineup | Box score | BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Carlos Boozer | C.J. Watson | Joakim Noah | Photo gallery




Game 15 | Rose out again and Bulls crushed in Memphis

Grizzlies 102, Bulls 86 | 01.16.2012 (12-3)

Now it’s about Derrick Rose and his sprained/turf toe for the Bulls. Forget the 102-86 pummeling the Bulls absorbed from a hot Memphis Grizzlies team and falling to 12-3 in the centerpiece Martin Luther King Day game in Memphis. It was a day to ponder a great dream that still strives for reality and acceptance. For the Bulls, it also remained a day to have faith in what they might accomplish without their leader.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | BullsTV recap | Box score | Photo gallery




Game 14 | Bulls band of brothers dismiss Raptors

Bulls 77, Raptors 64 | 01.14.2012 (12-2)

Taj Gibson's fourth quarter slam dunk concluded a 17-6 run that effectively broke open the game with the Bulls taking a 73-58 lead and easing the rest of the way to a 77-64 win that raised the team’s league leading record to 12-2. “We have the mindset no matter how many minutes you play, no matter how many touches you get, no one should play harder than you,” said Gibson. “You’re supposed to lay it on line no matter what. That’s the kind of key plays I look forward to. Whatever I have to do help my team. I’ll lay it on line. I don’t want to disappoint Thibs or the team and I’ll do what I can.”
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Rose out; Bulls sign Mike James | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: John Lucas III | Taj Gibson




Game 13 | The Bulls are coming! And the Celtics are going

Bulls 88, Celtics 79 | 01.13.2012 (11-2)

It’s a new day, NBA. The Boston Celtics are dead. Long rule the new kids, the Bulls. There’s no official passing of the torch in the NBA. But the Bulls with an impressive 88-79 victory over the Celtics in Boston moved to the best record in the NBA at 11-2 with arguably the most difficult schedule leading the league in road games played and for much of the season without their second and third guards, Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Derrick Rose's tomahawk jam




Game 12 | Bulls defeat Wizards without Rose

Bulls 78, Wizards 64 | 01.11.2012 (10-2)

Just imagine you didn’t know anyone in the NBA and you watched the Bulls defeat the Washington Wizards 78-64. You’d never heard of the point guards playing against one another, John Wall and John Lucas III. Lucas, leading the Bulls, had 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists with two turnovers, while Wall for the losers was without a field goal the last 19 minutes and had 11 points and eight assists with four turnovers. Who do you think was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft and who was the seven year journeyman who’d played in China, Spain, Italy and the D-League and waived by NBA teams several times?
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Rose out; Bulls sign Mike James | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: John Lucas III | Luol Deng | Kyle Korver




Game 11 | Bulls do some howling in Minnesota

Bulls 111, Timberwolves 100 | 01.10.2012 (9-2)

The Bulls keep moving on, their 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves increasing the team’s record to 9-2. Now whether Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer will join in remains to be determined. The essence of the Bulls front line was again on the bench in the fourth quarter as the Bulls came back from losing a 24-point lead behind the timely shooting of Luol Deng and Ronnie Brewer and a brilliant performance from Derrick Rose, who scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter after Minnesota pulled within three early in the period.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | BullsTV recap | Box score | Photo gallery




Game 10 | Bulls motor by the Pistons

Bulls 92, Pistons 68 | 01.09.2012 (8-2)

Perhaps it will work. After all, the Bulls might have the NBA’s best combination of overall team depth and interior defensive strength. So maybe in this unusual season of 66 games in 124 days, they can endure longer. So far, it’s been remarkably effective with a 92-68 victory over the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls are 8-2 and in their three home games combined, according to Elias Sports, they set a new NBA record in the shot clock era since 1954 of giving up just 206 points. It’s a testament to their relentless defensive attention to detail and effort. But it would be nice, also, if someone could score some points.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Photo gallery
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room with Taj Gibson




Game 9 | Bulls burned and bummed in Atlanta

Hawks 109, Bulls 94 | 01.07.2012 (7-2)

In basketball, as in life, there occasionally are times like the Bulls’ unusually uncompetitive 109-94 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Call it: Saturday happens! “In this league,” offered Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, “you usually get what you deserve.” It was stunning in many respects as Derrick Rose with eight points, six assists and five turnovers likely had the poorest game of his pro career. Carlos Boozer was the only Bulls starter in double figures with 12 points, but his defense was so leaky that when he was on the court the Bulls were down 40 points.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Photo gallery




Game 8 | Bulls with convincing win in Orlando

Bulls 97, Magic 83 | 01.06.2012 (7-1)

If Dwight Howard doesn’t want to play for the Bulls after what he witnessed in Orlando, then he probably doesn’t care that much about success. The Bulls methodically made the Magic disappear — I know, corny — in a fairly comfortable 97-83 victory that moved the Bulls to 7-1 with their best start since the 1996-97 season.
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Game 7 | Bulls elbow past Pistons amidst worries about Rose’s elbow

Bulls 99, Pistons | 01.04.2012 (6-1)

It was the kind of night in Detroit for the Bulls to keep it simple: Get a win over a non-playoff team and get out healthy. Well, they accomplished the winning part. And hopefully the other, though there’s always breath to hold and prayers to say when it is Derrick Rose heading for X-rays. The Bulls rather easily, never trailing and ahead by double digits after midway through the third quarter, defeated the Detroit Pistons 99-83 to raise their record to league best 6-1 along with Miami.
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Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | BullsTV recap | Photo gallery




Game 6 | Bulls stun Hawks and those seeking artistic basketball

Bulls 76, Hawks 74 | 01.03.2012 (5-1)

It was 26-year-old Luol Deng once again with the game winner, this time in the Bulls' latest unlikely victory, 76-74 over the Atlanta Hawks after trailing by 19, 14 in the fourth quarter. “I’ve had so many (game winners),” Deng said with a laugh afterward. “I’ve got to go back and watch the tapes. Go back and see which one was my favorite.” Yes, it was Deng with the deciding points, a beautiful game winning play that fooled the Hawks with Joakim Noah making a high post pass to Deng cutting in for the winning layup with 3.7 seconds left as Derrick Rose was smothered on the outside by the Hawks.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Hinrich and Pargo return and so do tougher Hawks
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Joakim Noah | Richard Hamilton | Photo gallery




Game 5 | Bulls have Grizzlies all shook up

Bulls 104, Grizzlies 64 | 01.01.2012 (4-1)

The Bulls’ 104-64 annihilation of the Memphis Grizzlies was wonderful for the Bulls in their home opener, but worse than anyone can imagine for Memphis, and perhaps legions of music lovers worldwide. Elvis has to be dead. Because he had to be rolling over in his grave about this one. “Embarrassing and humiliating,” lamented Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score | Taking a look back at 2011 as 2012 begins
Photo gallery | BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Ronnie Brewer | John Lucas III




Game 4 | Bulls headed home with a Rosy glow

Bulls 114, Clippers 101 | 12.29.2011 (3-1)

In leading the Bulls to a 114-101 victory over the Clippers and concluding a 3-1 Western Conference trip, Derrick Rose not only had 29 points on just 14 shots with 16 assists and eight rebounds, he dominated the player many in the NBA regard as the league’s top point guard, Chris Paul. Paul was pretty darned good on his own with 15 points, 14 assists and four steals. Yet, that’s what made Rose’s game even more remarkable.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Derrick Rose | Luol Deng | Joakim Noah




Game 3 | Bulls look majestic against Kings

Bulls 108, Kings 98 | 12.29.2011 (2-1)

“I told you from the beginning I was going to be more aggressive and attack the hole,” said Derrick Rose, who had 19 points and eight assists as the Bulls never trailed after the first three minutes and defeated the Sacramento Kings 108-98. “We were running and playing in a groove. When we are aggressive, we’re great. We are going to ball.”
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Here’s a plan to break the one game losing streak
Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 2 | Bulls defenseless and offensive to watch vs. Warriors

Warriors 99, Bulls 91 | 12.26.2011 (1-1)

“I think in the first quarter I’ve got to establish myself a little bit more,” said reigning league MVP Derrick Rose, who aside from that wonderful game saving floater against the Lakers Christmas Day hasn’t been very valuable at all as the Bulls were bludgeoned 99-91 by the Golden State Warriors. “I see that being laid back is just not doing it. I think both games in the first quarter I shot the ball just one or two times (one of four total and zero free throws). I see that approach is not working. So next game I’ve got to change it up.”
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Bulls taking an early haircut against Warriors
Box score | BullsTV recap




Game 1 | Rose helps Bulls stun Lakers at the buzzer

Bulls 88, Lakers 87 | 12.25.2011 (1-0)

A remarkable win and game it was with the Bulls’ unlikely 88-87 victory with Rose hitting a driving floater for the winning basket with 4.8 seconds left after he and Joakim Noah forced Kobe Bryant into a turnover, and the Bulls defense with Noah, Taj Gibson and Luol Deng with the block from behind denying Bryant at the basket to conclude the most improbable of victories. Bryant led all scorers with 28 points. But it was Rose with 22, Deng with 21, including a game high nine in the fourth quarter, and a stiff defensive interior finally standing up in carrying the Bulls to a breathless 1-0 beginning.
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Additional coverage:
Sam Smith postgame analysis | Breaking down the Bulls’ win over the Lakers | Box score
BullsTV recap | Inside the Locker Room: Derrick Rose | Luol Deng
Rose and Bulls ready to deliver for Christmas