Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls

Bulls win second straight at home

Bulls improve to 36-21 on the season

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By Sam Smith | 2.23.2015 | 9:24 p.m. CT

The Bulls Monday pulled away in the second quarter and dominated the Milwaukee Bucks for a 87-71 victory.

The relatively easy victory gave the Bulls a 36-21 record with their sixth win in the last seven games and 17-11 at home. The Bucks fell to 31-25.

The Bulls were led by strong games off the bench from Tony Snell with 20 points and Nikola Mirotic with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Pau Gasol had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Joakim Noah eight points and 16 rebounds as the Bulls dominated the backboards 62-41 with both teams shooting below 36 percent. Derrick Rose shot just one of 12 and had eight points and a game high eight assists.

It was a slow start for both teams with multiple turnovers and poor shooting until the Bulls got a late first quarter boost from Snell’s shooting to take a 21-15 lead after one. The reserve group that began the second quarter took control of the game with a fierce defensive effort to start and three-point shooting from Snell and rebounding from Noah and Mirotic to lead 48-33 at halftime. The Bulls bogged down in the third quarter, scoring just 16 points and without a field goal in the last 5:50. But the Bulls still led 64-49 going into fourth quarter with the Bucks shooting barely 30 percent.

Observations:

1. It’s getting tougher to limit Tony Snell’s minutes as the athletic second year man continues to develop as he had 18 points and four threes in leading the Bulls to a 15-point halftime lead.

2. With Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson out ill, Nikola Mirotic had a strong start with 10 first half rebounds and continued to show his ability to help space the court with his three-point shooting.

3. Joakim Noah continued to flash his 2013-14 form with the sort of multiple effort game coach Tom Thibodeau talks about with constantly keeping plays going with offensive rebounds.